Voting Ends For First Phase Of Local Body Polls In 11 Districts Of Jammu And Kashmir

| October 8 , 2018 , 14:15 IST

Amidst heavy security, voting took place on Monday for the first phase of local body polls in 11 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. The first of the 4 phase local body elections were conducted for 422 of the 1,145 wards in the state.

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

Mobile internet services have been suspended in South Kashmir due to the elections, while mobile speeds have been reduced in other parts of the Kashmir valley.

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The state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said "For this phase, 1,473 nominations were filed, and after scrutiny 1,441 nominations were declared valid. Subsequently, there were some withdrawals and 1,283 contestants are now in the fray for polls in the first phase.”

The local polls are being boycotted by Jammu and Kashmir's 2 main political parties, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which along with the CPI(M) are staying away from the local polls in protest against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court to Article 35-A of the Constitution which grants the state special rights.

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Inspector General of CRPF, Kashmir, Ravideep Singh Sahi said that adequate arrangements have been made for the security of the candidates.

"We have made adequate arrangements for the security of the candidates, their personal security as well as the accommodation arrangements, we have elaborate plan for that. Area domination, checking and operations have been going on so that trouble mongers are arrested and there is a general sense of security," the IG CRPF said.

The second phase of the elections are scheduled for October 10, followed by the third phase on October 13 and the last phase on October 16. Counting of votes for all the phases will take place on October 20.