II-Phase of state’s Panchayat elections underway

Srinagar

The voting for the second phase of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir at 2179 polling stations across the state, including 828 in Kashmir and 1351 in Jammu Division. has started at 8:00, this morning, and will ended up at 2:00 pm.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shaleen Kabra, 4014 candidates are in the fray for 281Sarpanch and 1286 Panch seats in Phase-II. He said 90Sarpanchs and 1069Panchs have already been elected unopposed in Phase-II.

Kabra said 601 polling stations have been categorized as hypersensitive including 490 in Kashmir Division and 196 in Jammu Division.

He said, the poll bound areas in the Phase-II, electorate of 329818 will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies 207796 for Panch constituencies. He said Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station. Kabra said in the Phase-I of Panchayat Polls, 74.1% polling was recorded across J&K including 64.5% in Kashmir division and 79.4% in Jammu division.

He said repoll was held for Ward No: 3 – Atholi-C of Panchayat Atholi, Block Padder, Kishtwar on 18 November. Results have been announced for all these by the respective Returning Officers.

He said repoll is also being held for Sarpanch Constituency of Panchayat Nambla–B, Block Uri in district Baramulla and for Sarpanch Constituency of Panchayat Halqa Upper Sanai, Block Surankote in district Poonch. Also, in two Panch constituencies, namely PC-III & PC-IV of the PanchayatHalqaHajitara, Block Teetwal of district Kupwara, the poll will be held after completion of the election process as per law.

Kabra said Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations across the State.  Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling stations.

He said senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of Panchayat Elections, 2018. Also, Expenditure Observers are keeping a watch on the expenditure by the candidates. In addition, for the poll day, Micro Observers have been placed in polling stations, particularly those considered hypersensitive. Besides, the Zonal and Sector Magistrates too have been deployed.

CEO said Control Rooms have been established in all the districts across the State to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct as also to disseminate information to the public. Security arrangements have been made including deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

Earlier, Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had asked people to observe a complete protest shutdown in Kalaroos, Machil, Rajwar,Ganstan, Nowgam,Sangrama, Wagoora,Kangan, Rathsun, Bijbehara, areas going to polls in the second  phase of “sham panchayat elections” thrust on them by the authoritarian state .

The spokesman said that JRL asked People to demonstrate their total rejection and disregard of this futile exercise by staying away and boycotting it completely.

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