Kashmir: Polling underway for 3rd phase of DDC polls amid high security
Srinagar/UNI: Voting is underway on Friday to decide the fate of 166 candidates contesting in 16 constituencies during the third phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections in Kashmir valley amid tight security arrangements.
Simultaneously, votes are also being polled for sarpanch bypolls in the third phase in the valley, where voting for first two phases concluded peacefully.
An official said that there are a total 280 constituencies in the UT of J&K (14 in each district) out of which voting will be conducted in 33 constituencies, including 16 from Kashmir Division and 17 from Jammu Division, from 0700 hrs to 1400 hrs in phase III.
He further informed that there are total 305 candidates in the electoral fray, including 166 from Kashmir division and 139 from Jammu division, for DDC elections in Phase III.
“Out of 305 candidates, 53 are females,” he added.
Regarding Sarpanch bypolls, he said that out of 126 constituencies, polling shall take place in 66 constituencies and a total of 184 candidates are contesting in phase three including 144 male and 40 female candidates. “40 Sarpanch constituencies have been filled unopposed,” he added.
Similarly, in Panch by-elections, he informed that there are 1738 constituencies, and out of them 798 have been elected unopposed. Polling shall take place in 327 constituencies and there are 749 candidates in the fray.
He further informed that in the third phase, 7,37,648 electors are eligible to cast their votes in phase III which includes 3,85,675 males and 3,51,973 females. He also said that out of these 7,37,648 voters 3,74,604 are from Jammu division and 3,63,044 are from Kashmir division. “A total of 2046 polling stations, including 792 in Jammu division and 1254 in Kashmir division, have been set up for the conduct of Phase III elections in a smooth manner,” he said.
Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner, K K Sharma on Thursday said that all the arrangements regarding elections have been completed including man power, election material and security arrangements. He said that adequate security arrangements have been made in all the poll going areas.
Regarding the SOPs related to COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC urged the people to follow the guideline issued by the Commission besides wearing face masks and maintaining social distance during polling. He also said that sanitizers, thermal scanners and face masks have been arranged at the polling stations.
Special Polling Stations at Women College Gandhinagar, Jammu and Girls Higher Secondary School Udhampur have been setup to facilitate physical voting by Kashmiri Migrants.
The SEC appealed to the people to come forward and participate in the festival of democracy and urged them to go to their polling stations and cast their vote.
DDC Elections and Panchayat bypolls 2020 are being held in eight phases, which commenced from November 28 to December 19. The counting of votes shall be conducted on December 22.