JAMMU: Polling for Phase-VI of Panchayat Polls-2018 will be held today (Saturday) at 3174 polling stations including 410 in Kashmir division and 2764 in Jammu division. The timing for polling is from 8 am to 2 pm.
According to the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shaleen Kabra, 771 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive including 410 in Kashmir division and 361 in Jammu division.
He said 7156 candidates in the fray for 406 Sarpanch and 2277 Panch seats in Phase-VI while 111 Sarpanchs and 1048 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this Phase.
He said in the areas going to polls in Phase-VI, electorate of 597396 electors will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies and 457581for Panch constituencies. “Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station,” he said.
Kabra said in Phase-V which went to polls on November 29, the State witnessed a polling percentage of 71.1 percent including 33.7 percent in Kashmir division and 85.2 percent in Jammu division. In Poonch district, he said, repoll for Sarpanch seat in Sanai Panch Halqa of block Surankote witnessed a turnout of 79.78 percent and deferred polling in Panchayat Halqa Nonabandi witnessed a turnout of 92.23 percent.
He said in Phase-IV, the state witnessed a polling percentage of 71.3 percent including 82.4 percent polling was witnessed in Jammu division and 32.3 percent in Kashmir division. In Phase-III, the State witnessed a polling percentage of 75.2 percent which includes 55.7 percent in Kashmir division and 83.0 in Jammu division.
In the Phase-II of Panchayat Polls held on 20 November 2018, overall 71.1 percent polling was witnessed across the State with an overwhelming 80.4 percent polling in Jammu division and 52.2 percent in Kashmir division.
Similarly, in the Phase-I of Panchayat Polls held on 17 November 2018, 74.1 percent polling was recorded across J&K including 64.5 in Kashmir division and 79.4 percent in Jammu division.
He said results have been announced for all these Phases by the respective Returning Officers.
Kabra said the orders have been passed in various complaint cases as well as directions of the Courts and wherever necessary Notifications reappointing the election schedules have been issued. “All such orders/notifications are available at website of CEO J&K,” he said.
Kabra said Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations across the State for Phase-III. Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling stations.
He said senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of Panchayat Elections, 2018. Also, Expenditure Observers are keeping a watch on the expenditure by the candidates. In addition, for the poll day, Micro Observers have been placed in polling stations, particularly those considered hypersensitive. Besides, the Zonal and Sector Magistrates too have been deployed.
CEO said control rooms have been established in all the districts across the State to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct as also to disseminate information to the public. Security arrangements have been made including deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
He said the government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the panchayat areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote. He said special casual leave shall also be granted to the employees who have to go to other areas to exercise their right to franchise. 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 to do so.
The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K appealed the voters to come forward and exercise their right to franchise in order to choose their local self-government to address their local needs.