Campaign Over, Admn Gears Up For LC Polls

SRINAGAR: With the bitterly-politicized campaign for Legislative Council elections drawing to a close on Saturday evening, the government has mobilized its men and machinery to ensure smooth conduct of the polls on Monday.

At least 33,544 village representatives would be casting their vote to decide the fate of 37 candidates including 14 from the Kashmir province for the four vacancies in Panchayati Raj quota in the upper house of the state Legislature.

Quoting official sources, reports said that with the deadline for campaigning having come to an end this evening, authorities were busy in fine-tuning the arrangements for the December 3 polls.

They said 143 polling booths had been established across the state in which 286 EVM’s would be available for voters to caste their ballot. Around 17,912 village representatives would be voting for the election of two candidates from among 14 in fray in Kashmir while 15,628 panches and sarpanches would cast their vote in Jammu province to elect two members for the Legislative Council.

Talking to KNS, the minister of state for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani, said adequate security arrangements had been put in place to ensure free and fair polling. The security  in and around polling booths at block headquarters had been strengthened.

“We are closely monitoring the security arrangements and want to ensure each and every voter exercises his franchise without any fear,” Wani said, adding the polling material had been handed over to the polling staff.

Meanwhile, election observer for Kashmir province, Shantmanu, said all the polling material including the EVM’s had been dispatched to the polling booths. “The material and staff for remote areas which have been cut off due to snowfall has been dispatched by helicopters on Saturday afternoon,” he told KNS.

Shantmanu is holding a final review meeting with civil and police administration on Sunday.

Pertinently, the contestants were engaged in a hectic campaign to garner support of the panches and sarpanches till this evening. Leaders of most parties held public meetings to gain the trust of the panches and sarpanches.

According to the authorities responsible for conducting the polls, a close vigil is being kept on all the stake holders to avoid any kind of partiality or favoritism.

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