321 wards going to polls, voting to take place at 820 polling stations
SRINAGAR: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shaleen Kbara Sunday said that in the first phase of Municipal Polls-2018, voting will take place at 820 polling stations across the state on Monday (today). The polling time, he said will be from 7 am to 4 pm.
He said 150 polling stations have been designated for voting in Kashmir Division and 670 in Jammu Division.
“In Kashmir Division, 138 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive while in Jammu Division, 52 polling stations have been categorised hypersensitive,” he said adding that for the Phase-I, 78 candidates have already been elected unopposed.
The CEO said 1204 candidates are in the fray for 321 Municipal Wards in Phase-I, including 83 in Kashmir division and 238 in Jammu division.
“The total electorate for Phase-I is 586064,” he said adding that Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations across the State for voting. He said Photo Voter Slips have already been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station.
Kabra said senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of polls. “Expenditure Observers are also keeping a watch on the expenditure by the candidates,” he said adding that for the poll day, Micro Observers have been deployed in polling stations, particularly those considered sensitive/ hypersensitive.
“Besides, the Zonal and Sector Magistrates have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of polls as well as monitoring the entire process,” CEO said adding that the Deputy Commissioners are undertaking videography of all critical events related to the poll process.
Kabra said control rooms have been established in all the municipal bodies across the State to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) as also to disseminate information to the public. He said adequate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of polling across the State.
He said the government has also declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote. He said as per standing guidelines, the central government offices shall not be closed but the employees who are electors of the poll going wards and desire to exercise their franchise shall be offered reasonable facility- by way of coming late to office / allowed to leave office early/short absence.
The CEO urged voters to exercise their right to franchise in order to choose their local self government to address to their local needs.
Municipal Elections 2018 are being held in four phases, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh. A total of 3372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards. The poll days are 8th, 10th, 13th and 16th October for these four phases.