In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless, and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Panchayat Elections: Polling in penultimate phase today

Srinagar, Dec 7: Polling in the 8th phase of the nine-phase Panchayat Elections 2018 will take place on Saturday.

As per the Chief Electoral Officer, the nomination process for 483 halqaswith 3860 Panch constituencies commenced with the issuance of notification on November 12. While 43 Sarpanch and 681 Panch have been elected unopposed, polling will take place for 331 sarpanch and 2007 panch seats, with 6304 candidates in fray.

An electorate of 515121 will be voting for sarpanch constituencies whereas it is 419775 for panch constituencies.

In phase 8, 2633 polling stations are being set up – 550 in Kashmir Division and 2083 in Jammu Division.

Of these, 361 have been categorized as Hypersensitive – 171 in Kashmir Division and 190 in Jammu Division.

Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations for facilitating the voters. Security arrangements have been made including deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

At the end of 7 phases, in respect of the Sarpanch and Panch constituencies that have seen contests, the overall voter turnout has been 73.8% for the State, with a poll percentage of 44.4% in the Kashmir Division and 83.2% in the Jammu Division.

Orders have been passed in various complaint cases as well as on directions of the Courts and wherever necessary Notifications appointing the election schedule have been issued. All such orders/notifications are available at website of CEO J&K.

In order to ensure free and fair polls, general observers, expenditure observers and micro observers have been appointed apart from magistrates. Control Rooms established in all the districts are responding to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct or any other election related matter.

The State Government has declared holiday on the day of poll, including under the Negotiable Instruments Act, and, therefore, it is enjoined upon all establishments, whether Government or Private to observe the same strictly.

Also, provision of Special casual leave for state government employees has been made. Central government offices shall also afford reasonable facility to its employees who desire to vote.