Abid Hussain

Panchayat elections: Only one seat among 350 to go for polls in Budgam

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22 Sarpanch and 285 Panch seats vacant

Budgam, Nov 26: It seems the killing of seven youth on the by-poll day for Srinagar parliamentary constituency in April last year has left a deep impact on the electoral participation here as the people have largely preferred to stay away from local body and Panchayat polls.

After boycotting the recently held urban local bodies polls, the people in Budgam have shown a similar response to the Panchayat elections, which witnessed no polling in Budgam, Rathsun and Soibugh blocks of the district due to lack of candidates.

Accordingly, no voting will be held in Beerwah and Waterhail blocks scheduled for Tuesday in the fourth round of nine-phased election, except for a single Panch seat in Beerwah.

Beerwah Panchayat block is divided into 27 Sarpanch Halqas with 237 Panch Wards, out of which 17 Sarpanch and 214 Panch seats are lying vacant. While 10 Sarpanchs and 22 Panch candidates were declared winners without any contest, sources said.

The block will witness voting only for a single Panch seat—Sonpah, where two candidates are in fray.

Similarly, Waterhail area is comprised of nine Sarpanch Halqas with 77 Panch wards; among them no candidate had filed nominations for five Sarpanch and 71 Panch seats, leaving them vacant. Also, four Sarpanchs and six Panchs were elected unopposed, concerned official said.

Earlier, only 12 nominees came forward to file nominations for Sarpanch seats in Beerwah and eight in Waterhail. Later two candidates from Beerwah and four from Waterhail withdrew their nominations.

In Beerwah and Waterhail, 27 and eight candidates filed nominations for the Panch seats respectively. Later, three contestants from Beerwah and two from Waterhail took back their papers.

Meanwhile, Beerwah block has the highest number of Sarpanch and Panch seats among 17 blocks of district Budgam.

When phoned Block Development Officer Beerwah, he could not be contacted for comments.

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