Civic polls: 982 file nominations; Over 16 Lakh eligible to cast vote
JAMMU, oct 4:Over 16 lakh voters are eligible to vote in the four-phased Jammu and Kashmir urban local body polls that begin from October 8, officials said.
“As many as 982 candidates have filed their nominations for the four phases of the ULB and municipal polls in the Kashmir valley,” a senior official of the state election department told PTI.
While the two major regional political parties, the PDP and the National Conference, have boycotted the polls, 982 other candidates have filed their nominations, another official said.
Officials said 179 candidates have been declared elected unopposed in the polls, which will be held in the backdrop of threats by terror groups.
In Devsar municipal polls, all the 8 candidates were declared elected unopposed, they said.
In Charar-e-Sharief (Budgam) 11 candidates were declared elected unopposed while the number of such victorious candidates was 10 in Bandipora’s Hajin, they said. Nine candidates each were declared elected unopposed to the civic bodies in Budgam, Anantnag and Langate while 8 each were chosen without a contest in Choudra, Kokernag, Watergam, Sopore and Ashmuqam areas, they said.
Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shaleen Kabra confirmed it.
According to official statistics, as many as 258 candidates filed nominations and after withdrawal and checking of forms, 199 candidates were left in the fray for the first phase of polling on October 8th.
In this phase, 69 candidates were declared elected “uncontested”, according to officials.
For the second phase, 61 candidates were declared elected uncontested while 209 others are in the fray.
Forty nine candidates were declared elected unopposed for the third phase, out of 194 candidates, who filed their nominations while the remaining will have to battle it out at the hustings, officials said.
For the fourth phase, 260 candidates have filed nomination papers and the process for scrutiny of papers and withdrawal is on, according to officials.
“As many as 16,97,291 electors will exercise their franchise in 1,145 wards across the state of J&K in four phase polls beginning October 8”, a senior election department officer said.
Out of total 1,145 wards, 90 wards have been reserved for Scheduled Castes and 38 wards have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes which includes 31 and 13 wards reserved for SC and ST women respectively, he said.
In addition, 322 wards have been reserved for women belonging to open category, he added. Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has the highest number of 6,63,775 electors for the city’s 74 wards, he said.
The first phase of polling will be undertaken on October 8, followed by second phase on October 10, third on October 13 and the fourth and final phase on October 16, he said. Counting of the votes will be taken up on October 20, the officer said.
The state’s major political parties — National Conference and PDP — have boycotted the elections over the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.