Current AffairsIndia

Voting begins for Phase-II J&K panchayat polls

Srinagar, Nov 20 (IECurrentAffairs) Voting began at 2,179 polling stations in Jammu and Kashmir, where 3,29,818 electors will elect Sarpanch while 2,07,796 will vote for Panch on Tuesday in the second of the nine phased panchayat elections in the state under unprecedented security arrangements.

The polling, which began on a very dull note at 0800 hrs, will conclude at 1400 hrs. However, authorities expected good voter turnout as the day progresses.

Large number of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) and state police have been deployed to provide a secure environment to the electorate who are expected to exercise their democratic right, officials said.

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) on Monday called for a general strike today in panchayat poll-bound areas.

As many as 90 sarpanchs and 1,069 Panchs have already been elected unopposed in Phase-II, J&K Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said.

He said 601 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive, including 490 in Kashmir division and 111 in Jammu Division.

He said in the areas going to polls in the Phase-II, 3,29,818 electorate are expected to exercise their franchise in Sarpanch constituencies 207796 for Panch constituencies. He said Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station.

Mr Kabra said in the Phase-I of Panchayat Polls, 74.1 per cent polling was recorded across the state, including 64.5 per cent in Kashmir division and 79.4 per cent in Jammu division.

He said repoll was held for Ward No: 3 – Atholi-C of Panchayat Atholi, Block Padder, Kishtwar on November 18. 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.

Mr Kabra said Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) had been ensured in all the polling stations across the State. Photo Voter Slips had 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, Micro Observers have been placed in polling stations, particularly those considered hypersensitive. Besides, the Zonal and Sector Magistrates too have been deployed.

The 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 election 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 to the voters to come forward and exercise their right to franchise in order to choose their local self-government to address their local needs.

Via UNI-India
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