Curtains Fall On High-Stake Municipal Elections Today 

SRINAGAR — Curtains will fall on the 4-phased elections to Urban Local Bodies, held after 2005,on Tuesday  with 156 candidates in fray for the last phase of the 4-phased urban local bodies polls in Kashmir Valley on Tuesday.

With many candidates elected unopposed and a number segments not receiving a single nomination, there will be voting in only 37 of the 132 wards which were scheduled to go for polls on Tuesday in the final phase of ULB polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the final phase, the electorate will seal the fate of 156 candidates in Srinagar and Ganderbal districts.

Officials said arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the polls which are scheduled to begin at 6.00 am and end at 4.00 pm.

In the first three phases polls, a majority of people stayed away from polling booths in Kashmir Valley for where the turnout was 8.3 per cent only in first phase, 3.4 in phase-II and 3.5 percent in penultimate phase.

Polling in both was by and large peaceful in the first three phases of four-phases 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).

They said the election staff and polling material have reached respective polling stations. Heavy security bandobast has been put in place near the polling stations, while security forces have been carrying out area-domination exercises over the last couple of days, officials said.

Eight municipal bodies spanning across six districts — all in Kashmir valley – were scheduled to go for polls on Tuesday in the fourth and final phase. However, out of the eight only two will see voting. There will be no contest in the rest of the six bodies.

The Ganderbal Municipal Committee will see voting in 12 wards out of the 17 in total. Polling will be held in 24 out of the total 25 wards in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) in the summer capital of the state.

Only these 36 wards will go to polls on Tuesday, in which 156 candidates are in the fray — 38 in Ganderbal and 112 in Srinagar. Five candidates from Ganderbal and one from Srinagar have been elected unopposed.

The rest of the bodies – Pattan in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Pampore, Pulwama and Khrew in Pulwama district in south, Shopian Municipal Committee in Shopian district in south and Dooru Verinag in Anantnag district also in south Kashmir will see no voting.

Together these six bodies have 90 wards. While candidates from 11 wards out of the total 13 in the Pattan municipal body have been elected unopposed, two wards received no nomination papers.

Not a single nomination paper was submitted in any of the 13 wards of the Khrew municipal body. In the Pampore municipal body, which has 17 wards, five candidates were elected unopposed, while 12 wards received no nomination papers.

Out of the 13 wards in Pulwama municipal body, no candidate was in the fray in 11 wards while two candidates were elected unopposed.

In the 17 wards of Shopian, 12 were elected without contest, while five wards received no nominations.

While one ward received no nomination in the municipal body of Dooru Verinag, 16 candidates were elected uncontested.

In total, out of the 132 wards across the eight bodies 44 wards received no nominations, while 52 wards saw candidates getting elected without contest.

National Conference, along with PDP and CPI(M), have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

 

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.  

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