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Panchayat Polls: 5575 in fray for Phase VII

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JRL calls for strike in poll bound areas

Jammu/Srinagar, Dec 03: Voting for Phase-VII of Panchayat Polls-2018 will be held Tuesday at 2714 polling stations across the state including 576 in Kashmir division and 2138 in Jammu division from 8 am to 2 pm whileas Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for shutdown in areas going to polls.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shaleen Kabra, 892 polling stations have been categorized as hypersensitive in this phase including 428 in Kashmir division and 464 in Jammu division.

He said 5575 candidates in the fray for 341 Sarpanch and 1798 Panch seats in Phase-VII, while 85 Sarpanchs and 912 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this phase.

He said in the areas going to polls in Phase-VII, an electorate of 475865 will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies and 345880 for Panch constituencies.

CEO said at the end of six phases of Panchayat polls, overall voter turnout of 73.6 percent has been recorded across the state, with a poll percentage of 46.1 percent in the Kashmir division and 82.8 percent in the Jammu division for the first six phases.

CEO said 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.  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. 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.

Meanwhile, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for shutdown in areas going to polls in the seventh phase of Panchayat elections on Tuesday.

In a statement, JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik asked people to observe a complete protest shutdown in Trehgam, Qadirabad, Qaziabad, Naidkhai, Rafiabad, Pattan, Sukhnag, Parnewa, Shadimarg, Kapran, Hermain, Pombay, Larnoo, Breng, Sagam going to polls tomorrow.

“JRL asked people to demonstrate their total rejection and disregard of this futile exercise by staying away and boycotting it completely,” said the statement.

They said the “sham” elections were being thrust on the people by the “authoritarian state.”

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