by Bilal Bahadur
The polling for the third phase of the urban local bodies’ elections in 96 wards spread across four districts of Jammu and Kashmir began on Saturday. Polling began at 6 am and is slated to end at 4 pm.
The total of 151 wards under the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Municipal Committee Hajin, municipal councils in Sopore, Uri, Tral, Awantipora, Mattan, Pahalgam, Ashmuqam and Seer Hamdan in Kashmir division will be going under polls. The polling is for 41 candidates in 39 wards only. 50 wards have uncontested winners and 62 wards are vacant where no nomination was filed.
Out of them, there will be no polling in the wards falling under Hajin, Sopore, Tral, Awantipore, Pahalgam, Seer Hamdan and Ashmuqam areas for either having no candidate or have just one contestant.
In Hajin area of Bandipora district, 13 wards were scheduled to go under polls but in the ten wards, only single candidate submitted their nominations hence declared them winners uncontested while as in three wards, no nominations were submitted.
Four municipal committees in Samba district: Samba, Vijaypur, Ramgarh, and Bari-Brahmana have gone to polls in the Jammu division.
Security has been beefed up across the state to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls.
A total of 372 candidates are in the fray in the third phase of the urban local bodies’ elections.
The overall voter turnout in the first phase of local body elections was 56.7 percent, while in the second phase, overall turnout was 30 percent.
Meanwhile a complete shutdown is being observed in poll-bound areas of Kashmir valley on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership.