Amid unprecedented security arrangements, the stage is set for the first phase of the District Development Council (DDC) election in Jammu and Kashmir that will witness a direct contest between the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Apni Party. It is the first electoral exercise since New Delhi revoked the limited-autonomy of J-K and broke it down into two union territories.
The election will take place in forty-three DDC constituencies across J-K. “Of these seats, twenty-five are in Kashmir and eighteen in Jammu,” he said, adding that 7,00,931 persons are eligible to cast their votes for these seats. The official said that 296 candidates are contesting elections on these seats. “Of them, 172 are in fray in Kashmir and 124 in Jammu division, “he said.
Along with these seats, the official said, the election will also be held for 94 Sarpanch seats and 368 Panch constituencies.
2111 seats polling stations — 1298 in Kashmir and 813 in Jammu division — have been set-up to facilitate electorate to cast their votes. The official in SEC told a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that mandatory sanitization of all polling stations has been carried out in view of COVID-19.
“We appeal all voters to follow COVID-19 protocol. We have made sufficient quantity of masks and sanitizers available at polling stations,” he said. The official said the polling will take place between 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.
“Government has declared holiday in all poll-bound areas so as to facilitate people to exercise their voting rights,” he said. He also said that general observers, expenditure observers have been appointed to ensure smooth, free and fair polls. (KNO)