Polling for Phase-II of Panchayat Polls-2018 will be held on Tuesday at 2179 polling stations across the state, including 828 in Kashmir and 1351 in Jammu Division. The timing for polling is from 8 am to 2 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 in the areas going to polls 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).
He said the Government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the panchayat areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote. He said special casual leave shall also be granted to the employees who have to go to other areas to exercise their right to franchise. As per standing guidelines, the Central Government offices shall not be closed but the employees who are electors of the poll going wards and desire to exercise their franchise shall be offered reasonable facility to do so.
The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K appealed the voters to come forward and exercise their right to franchise in order to choose their local self-government to address their local needs.