Kashmir elections to come early as Union Cabinet announced Panchayat Raj System for UT

Kashmir elections to come early as Union Cabinet announced Panchayat Raj System for UT
A second lockdown was implemented in the Kashmir Valley in August after a surge in COVID-19 casesBCCL

  • The Union Cabinet announced that Kashmir will have early elections to implement Panchayati Raj System in the union territory.
  • The development comes over a year after the Indian government abolished Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370.
  • The Panchayat Raj System is a three-tier system of governance from village to district.
For the first time in at least half a century, Kashmir will have a three-tier panchayat system. The Union Cabinet announced that early elections will be held in the union territory and people will vote for who they want as their elected representative.

“They (citizens of Kashmir) will have early elections,” said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar during the press conference.“The three-tier panchayat system is now operational in Kashmir which was not there earlier.”

Last year, the central government abolished Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which gave the state special status. It also meant that the state would have to abide by the Indian constitution, not its own rules.

The Indian constitution entails that states need to implement the Panchayat Raj System — a three-tier method of governance. It starts at the village level followed by the block level and finally the district level.


It was formalised by the 73rd amendment to the Indian constitution in 1992. The representatives at each level have their own responsibilities when it comes to finalising social-economic development plans, collecting taxes and fees, and funding research studies.

“The power to manage local bodies will go to the people. They will elect their representatives. And those representatives will plan the development of the district,” said Javadekar.

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