Unfazed,Poll Body Sticks To 6 A.M. Start In Next 2 Phases   

SRINAGAR — Unfazed by the jibes, Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, has ordered that poll timings for remaining two phases of the 4-phase election to urban local bodies shall be 6 a.m. to 4.p.m in the state.

“In partial modification to notification dated September 24 regarding phase (III and IV) o the Muncipal elections, the timing of the poll, if necessary, shall be orm 6a.m. to 4 p.m,,” reads a corrigendum to notification issued by the CEO.

The Election Commission (EC) came under flak for its decision to change the timing of the ongoing municipal polls with National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah questioning whether the move was aimed at keeping media at bay from covering the electoral process.

”Why are polling booths opening at 6 AM? If I believed conspiracy theories I’d believe it’s because journalists won’t be around to verify the genuineness of voters at that very early hour,” Omar, the former chief minister of the state, wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Taking a jibe at the EC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar wrote, ”3rd phase could be (from) 6pm to 6am to make it completely transparent”.

Municipal elections, covering 79 local urban bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh, are being held in four phases. A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards. The next phases are scheduled to take place on October 13 and 16.

Referring to the “manipulation of election timing to 6 am,” the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik said “the farce of this discredited and preposterous “election” being undertaken by the authoritarian state gets more and more exposed with each passing phase.”

Separatists Call For Strike In Poll Bound Areas On Saturday

Joint Resistance Leadership of separatists comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have said that complete protest shutdown will be observed on Saturday in the poll-bound areas in third phase of “sham elections being thrust on people by the authoritarian state”.

“As in the previous two phases people will again show their total rejection and dismissal of this farce by staying away and boycotting it completely, the JRL said in a statement, adding “People’s demand “No to all election Only Right of self determination”

“Shutdown to be observed in following areas: Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Ikhrajpora, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Chanapora, Budshah Nagar, Bagaat Barzulla, Rawalpora, Hyderpora, Khanka-e-Maulla, Mahraj Gunj, Jamia Masjid, Makhdoom Sahib, Khawaja Bazar, Aquilmir Khanyar, Rouzabal, Doulatabad, Islamyarbal, Nawab Bazar, Nawa Kadal, Safa Kadal, Rathpora, Eidgah, Palpora, Tarabal.

Hajin, Sopore, Uri, Tral, Awanitpora, Mattan, Pahalgam, Aishmuqam, Aeer Hamdan.”


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