Kargil- A total 278 polling stations will be set up for the upcoming Ladakh hill council elections, the majority of which are either sensitive or hypersensitive, a senior government official here said on Saturday.
The election to the fifth Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil will be held on October 4. The votes will be counted on October 8, according to a fresh notification issued by the election department.
“A total 278 polling stations will be set up across all 26 constituencies for the October 4 election. Of these, 114 are hypersensitive, 99 sensitive and 65 normal,” Deputy Commissioner (Kargil) Shrikant Suse, flanked by Senior Superintendent of Police Anayat Ali Chowdhary, told reporters.
He said the polling stations were categorised jointly by the civil and the police authorities and security and polling personnel will be deployed accordingly.
After a rap from the Supreme Court, the Ladakh election department rescheduled the local body elections in Kargil from September 10 to October 4. It also reserved the ‘plough’ symbol for the National Conference.
Holding that the National Conference is entitled to the ‘plough’ symbol, a Supreme Court bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on Wednesday dismissed the Ladakh administration’s plea opposing its allotment.
The apex court also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the administration.
Earlier, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh dismissed the Ladakh administration’s plea against a single-bench order allowing National Conference candidates to contest the polls on the party symbol.
According to the fresh notification, the process for filing nomination papers for 26 of the total 30-member Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil will start on September 9. The last date to file nominations is September 16.
Four councillors with voting rights are nominated by the administration.
The nomination papers will be scrutinised on September 18 while the last date to withdraw candidates is September 20, according to the notification read.
The polling will be held from 8 am to 4 pm.
The existing council headed by the National Conference’s Feroz Ahmad Khan will complete its full five-year term on October 1.
The National Conference and the Congress have already announced an alliance for the elections — the first such exercise in the district after Ladakh was declared a Union Territory in August 2019.
Assuring free, fair and transparent elections, the deputy commissioner said electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the district for the first time.
He said the entire election process will be completed before October 11.
Chowdhary, the senior superintendent of police, said additional Central Armed Police Force companies have already been deployed in the district and are performing their duties to ensure peaceful polling.
“They are keeping a close watch to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during campaigning and polling,” he said and added that the authorities are keeping a tight vigil to ensure the model code of conduct is not violated in the district.
Deployment of adequate women personnel will be ensured during the polling, the officer said.
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