New Delhi: Voting for the third phase of civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir is underway. Heavy security has been deployed at the polling stations to ensure free and smooth elections. Majority of the candidates have also been provided with either cluster security in hotels or individually in the Valley.
Nearly 207 wards in the state were scheduled to go to polls in the third phase, but the election will be held only in 100 wards — 56 in Samba district in Jammu division and 44 in the Valley. Of the 44 wards going to polls on Saturday, 20 falls in Srinagar city’s downtown area. Results for 49 wards in the Valley were declared uncontested at the completion of the nomination process on 3 October, there were no nominations filed for 58 wards — mostly falling in Pulwama and Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
The wards in the downtown city going to polls are Khanqah-e-Mualla, Maharajgunj, Jamia Masjid, Makhdoom Sahib, Khwaja Bazaar, Aqilmir Khanyar, Rozabal, Daulatabad, Islamyarbal, Nawab Bazaar, Nawa Kadal, Safakadal, Rathpora, Edigah, Palpora, and Tarabal. Ten other wards in the civil lines area of the city, where polling will be held on Saturday, are Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Ikhrajpora, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Chanapora, Budshah Nagar, Baghat Barzulla, Hyderpora, and Rawalpora.
As per the Election Commission of India (ECI), a total of 372 candidates are in the fray — 242 for four municipal bodies in Samba district and 130 for Valley’s four municipal bodies.
The local civic body elections – taking place in the militancy-hit Valley after 13 years – has been boycotted by two main regional parties — the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), demanding Centre’s clear stand on Article 35-A of the Constitution.
The Municipal Elections are being held in four phases. The first phase polling was held on Monday while the second phase took place on Wednesday. The fourth and final phase polling will be held on October 16. The results will be declared on October 20.