New Delhi: With only a few days left for the Jammu and Kashmir Block Development Council (BDC) polls, Poonch District Election Officer Rahul Yadav on Friday said that a total of 61 candidates will contest the local body polls in the Poonch district. He also said that a total of 31 candidates out of 92 have withdrawn their nominations.

“A total of 61 candidates will contest the upcoming Block Development Councils (BDC) elections in Poonch. A total of 31 candidates withdrew their nomination, out of 92 candidates,” Poonch District Election Officer Rahul Yadav said.

The development comes two days after the Congress announced to boycott the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Block Development Council polls, saying the Election Commission did not consult all parties. It also said many of its party leaders are also under detention.

“We’ve come to realise that these elections (Block Development Council elections) are being held to facilitate only one party – ruling party. Our leaders are under detention. We have no other option but to announce that we are boycotting the election,” Congress leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir was quoted as saying by ANI.

October 9 was the last date to file nomination for the local body polls in the Valley state which will become a separate Union territory on October 31.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar had earlier announced that the J-K BDC polls will be held in 310 blocks on October 24 and the counting of votes will also take place on the same day.

“Date for issuing gazette notification is October 1. The last date of filing nomination is October 9. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is October 11. The elections will be held from 9 am to 1 pm on October 24 and the counting of votes will begin from 3 pm the same day,” Kumar had said earlier.

He had also mentioned that out of total 316 blocks, elections are only held in 310 blocks. “Through this election, the Panchs and Sarpanchs who were elected last year will be voting to elect BDC chairpersons in these blocks. The total number of electors is 26,629 and the elections will be held through the ballot box,” Kumar said.