Srinagar, Oct 15: The last phase of the urban local bodies polls in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday will see nearly 150 candidates vie for 37 wards.
The four-phase elections began on October 8 and will end on October 16.
In the first three phases polls, a majority of people stayed away from polling booths in Kashmir Valley for where the turnout was at 8.3 per cent only in first phase, 3.4 in phase-II and 3.5 percent in penultimate phase.
Polling in both the phases was by and large peaceful in the first three phases of four-phase of election to urban local bodies, which has been boycotted by two main regional parties – the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shaleen Kabra this evening said that voting will take place at 308 polling stations in Srinagar and Ganderbal in the last phase. The polling time, he said, will be from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm.
In a statement, Kabra said that 156 candidates are in the fray for 37 wards of 2 Urban Local Bodies for the 4thPhase comprising a total electorate of 250794 electors. He said additional poll staff is being deployed at polling stations with large number of electors.
Giving details, the CEO said that 12 wards are going to polls in Municipal Committee Ganderbal with a total electorate 8491 voters. He said 38 candidates are in the fray for Ganderbal MC and voting shall take place at 12 polling stations.
Kabra said 24 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation are also going to polls tomorrow with a total electorate of 241043. He said 113 candidates are in the fray for these 24 wards and 295 polling stations have been established for the purpose.
The CEO said also re-poll shall be held at Polling Station No: 9 Bachidarwaza of Makhdoom Sahab (Ward No: 41) tomorrow where 5 candidates are in the fray with a total electorate of 1260.
The CEO said that Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations across the State for voting. He said Photo Voter Slips have already been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station.
Kabra said senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of polls. “Expenditure Observers are also keeping a watch on the expenditure by the candidates,” he said and added that for the poll day Micro Observers have been deployed in polling stations, particularly those considered sensitive/ hypersensitive.
“Besides, the Zonal and Sector Magistrates have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of polls as well as monitoring the entire process,” CEO said and added that the Deputy Commissioners are undertaking Videography of all critical events related to the poll process.
Kabra said Control Rooms have been established in all the Municipal Bodies across the State to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) as also to disseminate information to the public. He said adequate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of polling across the State.
He said the government has also declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote. He said 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- by way of coming late to office / allowed to leave office early / short absence.
The CEO urged voters to exercise their right to franchise in order to choose their local self-government to address to their local needs.
Municipal Elections-2018 are being held in four phases, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh electors. A total of 3372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards. Days of poll are 8th, 10th, 13th and 16th October for these four phases.