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Over 16 lakh electors but no candidates in 177 wards

Srinagar, Oct 3: Not a single candidate has filed nomination papers for 177 municipal wards out of a total 624 in the Kashmir Valley, while 215 wards will return their representative unopposed.

The filing of nomination papers for the four-phase municipal polls ended on Tuesday. Voting is scheduled for October 8, 10, 13 and 16.

 

Given the situation of zero candidates in 177 wards, over one lakh electorates would not be exercising their voting rights.

Another one lakh voters in 215 other wards would also not exercise their franchise as each of these wards has just one contestant.

In south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, 177 municipal wards did not witness any filing of nomination papers.

The rest had just one candidate left in the fray.

The peaceful conduct of Municipal and Panchayat elections would be a major challenge for the Governor’s administration.

Authorities have promised personal security and secured lodgings to contestants in these polls.

A total of 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces were to be deployed to ensure peaceful conduct of these polls.

Meanwhile, amid “lukewarm” campaigning across Jammu and Kashmir, over 16.97 lakh electors will be exercising their franchise in the four-phased local body and municipal polls.

Two major regional players – National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – have boycotted the urban local body (ULB) and panchayat polls in the state.

“As many as 16,97,291 electors will vote in 1,145 wards across the state of J&K in four phases from October 8,” a senior election department officer told .

Out of the total 1,145 wards of municipality and local bodies, 90 wards have been reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and 38 for Scheduled Tribes (ST), which include 31 and 13 wards reserved for SC and ST women, respectively, he said.

In addition to this, 322 wards have been reserved for women belonging to open category, the officer said.

The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has the highest number of 6,63,775 electors with 74 wards followed by the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) with 75 wards and 4,00,301 electors, he said.