Polling gets underway in Jammu and Kashmir panchayat election

first_imgModerate polling was witnessed in the early hours of the first phase of panchayat election in Kashmir Valley on Saturday as nearly nine per cent of voters exercised their franchise till 10 am.“A total of 8.9 per cent of the electorate cast their votes at 283 polling locations across the valley till 10 am,” an official said.They said 12,104 votes were polled in the first two hours of the poll conducted in 16 blocks in six districts of the valley.The officials said the total number of electorate in these polling stations is 1,35,774.In 10 blocks of Ladakh region having 130 polling locations, the officials said 1,001 votes were polled in the first two hours.The total electorate in these polling stations is 25,906 and the voting percentage till 10 am is 3.9 per cent.The total voting percentage in Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, at 10 am is 8.1 per cent, the officials said.Voting began at 8 am at 3,296 polling stations — 1,303 in Kashmir and 1,993 in Jammu — and would end at 2 pm, officials said.The officials said that in the first phase polling, 85 sarpanch and 1,676 panch have been elected unopposed while voting is taking place on the remaining 420 sarpanch and 1,845 panch seats, for which 5,585 candidates are in the fray.They said there are 4,45,059 electors for sarpanch seats and 2,72,792 for panch constituencies.All necessary arrangements are in place for the smooth conduct of the polls, the officials said, adding massive security arrangements, including deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), have been made to ensure peaceful election.The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the panchayat areas where polls are taking place so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.While the polls are being conducted on the non-party basis, the NC, PDP and the CPI(M) have announced to stay away from the electoral exercise due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.The NC and the PDP have asked the Centre to make its stand clear in the apex court on the constitutional provision and urged it to defend its continuation in the court.They had also boycotted the municipal polls which were conducted last month.Separatists in Kashmir Valley have called for boycott of the polls and asked people to observe a shutdown on Saturday.last_img

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