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Schedule for 9 phase panchayat polls issued

SRINAGAR: Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra Monday announced the schedule for the nine phase panchayat polls schedule from November 17.
The nine-phase panchayat polls in the state to 316 blocks in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas comprising 35,029 Panch constituencies will be held from November 17.
Kabra said the polling for next eight phases will be held on November 20, 24, 27, 29, December 1, December 4, December 8, and December 11
While the date of notification for these nine phases would be October 23, 26, 29, December 1,3, 6, 9, 12, and 14, respectively.
The dates of scrutiny of nominations will be October 31, November 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, and 24.
The CEO said the last dates for withdrawal of candidature would be November 2, 5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, and 26.
The number of electorate in panchayat polls he said would be 5854208.
He said the counting of votes would be done on the day of polling and in some cases, if required, the counting would take place the next day.
The Chief Electoral Officer said the voting would be done with ballot papers. “In view of recent amendments making direct election to sarpanch, the electors shall cast their votes for panch as well as sarpanch, for which two separate coloured ballot papers will be used,” he said.
He announced that poll timing would be from 8 am to 2 pm and entire polls process would be completed by December 17.
He said that special cards were issued by his office for the media men to cover the elections. “The media people can visit any polling booth. But sometimes, they are barred not to put the voters into unnecessary disadvantage,” Kabra said.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that 178 wards were left vacant in the urban local bodies. “Separate elections will be held for the vacant wards,” he said.
Asked about low voter turnout, he said he was not the appropriate person to put this question.

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