Kashmir Indepth

Panchayat polls: Voting for fourth phase commences in J&K

Srinagar: Amid shutdown call by Joint Resisitance Leadership in poll bound areas, voting commenced on Tuesday for the fourth phase of Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir under tight security arrangements.  The process started at 8 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m.

Voting is taking place at 2,618 polling stations across the state, with 639 in Kashmir division and 1,979 in Jammu division.

Poll officials said 777 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive in this phase — 571 in Kashmir division and 206 in Jammu division.

There are 5,470 candidates in the fray for 339 Sarpanch and 1,749 for Panch seats, while 99 Sarpanchs and 969 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this phase.

A total of 4,72,160 electorates will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies while 3,32,502 will be voting for Panch constituencies, a poll official said.

Photo Voter Slips have been distributed to inform them of their polling station.

Voter turnout in the first phase on November 17 was 74.1 per cent. In the second phase on November 20, 71.1 per cent and in the third phase on November 24, it was 75.2.

Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations. Government has declared a holiday on the day in all the panchayat areas going to polls.

The nine-phased Panchayat polls will be completed on December 17.

The last Panchayat polls were last held in 2011 in the state.

JRL on Monday called for a shutdown in poll bound areas. JRL comprises of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.

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