4th And Final Phase Of Jammu And Kashmir Civic Body Polls Today For 36 Wards

| October 16 , 2018 , 15:25 IST

Amidst an election boycott by regional parties, voting in central Kashmir took place on Tuesday for the 4th and final phase of the 'Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)' civic body polls. Voting is taking place for only 36 wards out of the 132 municipal wards as 52 candidates were elected unopposed and none filed nominations for 44 wards.

According to an election official, voting will take place for 24 wards in Srinagar and 12 in Budgam only. Security has been boosted with police and paramilitary personnel deployment across polling stations and high-speed mobile internet services have been suspended in South and central Kashmir.

A total of 2,990 candidates are in the fray for the 4-phase elections for the 1,145 wards in the state, however, 240 candidates, majority from the Kashmir valley have been elected unopposed.

The first phase of the elections took place on October 8, followed by the second phase on October 10 and the third phase on October 13. Counting of votes for all the phases will take place on October 20. The first phase recorded 8.2 percent polling, followed by 3.4 percent in the second phase and a 3.5 percent in the third phase.

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The municipal elections, being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of 13 years, are being boycotted by the state's two major political parties the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), leaving the fight between the Congress and BJP.

The NC and PDP stated that they are boycotting the elections in protest against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court to Article 35-A of the Constitution.

The Article 35A of the Constitution grants special rights to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, disallowing people from outside the state to buy or own immovable property there, settle permanently or avail of state-sponsored scholarship schemes. It also forbids the state government from hiring people who are non-permanent residents.