3rd phase of J&K ur­ban lo­cal bodies polls to­day

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE - FAYAZ WANI

THE third phase of the Ur­ban Lo­cal Bodies (ULB) elec­tions in Jammu and Kash­mir (J&K) will take place on Satur­day.

A to­tal of 365 can­di­dates are in the fray for the third phase which will cover 96 wards.

Ac­cord­ing to Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) of­fi­cials, a to­tal of 411 can­di­dates were orig­i­nally to con­test for 207 wards in the third phase how­ever, can­di­dates from 49 wards in Kash­mir were elected un­op­posed while no nom­i­na­tions were filed for 62 wards in the mil­i­tancy-rid­dled Val­ley.

“Now, a to­tal of 365 can­di­dates are in fray for 96 wards in the state. Of these, 242 can­di­dates are con­test­ing from 56 wards of Jammu while 120 can­di­dates are in fray for 40 wards in the Val­ley,” the of­fi­cial said.

J&K’s Chief Elec­tion Of­fi­cer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said 300 polling sta­tions have been set up across the state and the polling would be­gin at 6AM and go on till four in the evening.

Two of the ma­jor par­ties in the state, the Na­tional Con­fer­ence and the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP), have boy­cotted the polls over the Cen­tre’s stand Ar­ti­cle 35A of the con­sti­tu­tion which grants spe­cial rights to the res­i­dents of the state.

Separatists and mil­i­tants have also called for a boy­cott of the polls, over the is­sue.

The boy­cott’s ef­fect has been very vis­i­ble. The first two phases of 4-phased ULB polls wit­nessed a very poor turnout in the Val­ley. While the turnout in the first phase in Kash­mir was 8%, it was 3.4% in the sec­ond phase held on Oc­to­ber 10.

How­ever, the Jammu and Ladakh re­gion has wit­nessed brisk polling. Au­thor­i­ties have made tight se­cu­rity ar­range­ments for the smooth and peace­ful con­duct of polls.

PTI FILE

Turnouts for the ULB polls have been very poor in the Val­ley. |

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