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DDC Polls: Over 7 lakh voters to decide fate of 249 candidates in 4th phase

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Srinagar: More than seven lakh voters will decide the fate of 249 candidates contesting in the fourth phase of the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

The polling will be held between 7 AM and 2 PM in 34 constituencies — 17 each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

Besides DDC elections, polling will be held for Panchayat bypolls in 50 vacant Sarpanch seats and 216 vacant Panch seats falling within the DDC constituencies, an official spokesman said.

So far, three phases of the maiden DDC elections, the first democratic exercise in Jammu and Kashmir after the reorganization of the erstwhile state last year, were held on November 28, December 1 and December 4, registering a voter turnout of 51.76 per cent, 48.62 per cent and 50.53 per cent, respectively.

In the fourth phase, out of the total 280 DDC constituencies in the Union Territory, 34 are going to poll, the spokesman said.

According to an official press release, in the 17 DDC constituencies of Kashmir division, 138 candidates, including 48 women, are in the fray. In Jammu division, 111 candidates, including 34 women, are contesting in this phase.

“There were 123 Sarpanch vacancies notified in the 4th phase and out of these 45 have got filled unopposed. There shall be a contest in 50 constituencies and 137 candidates, including 47 women, are in the fray,” the spokesman said.

Similarly, he said, out of the total 1,207 Panch vacancies notified in this phase, 416 have got filled unopposed and there is no contest in these constituencies.

Polling would take place in 216 Panch constituencies and there are 478 candidates in the fray including 129 women, the spokesman said.

In the 4th phase, he said, 7,17,322 electors are eligible to cast their votes — 3,76,797 men and 3,40,525 women.

Amongst them, 3,50,149 are from Jammu division and 3,67,173 from Kashmir division, the spokesman said.

He said there are 1,910 polling stations across the union territory for this phase — 781 in Jammu division and 1,129 in Kashmir division

Of the 1,910 polling stations, 1,152 are hyper-sensitive, 349 are sensitive and 409 have been categorized as normal.

The spokesman said all arrangements for this phase are in place.

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, adequate arrangements have been made to ensure safety of all stakeholders, including voters.

He said sanitiser, thermal scanners and face masks have been arranged at the polling stations to ensure that SOPs issued by the authorities concerned are strictly followed at the polling stations.

Special polling stations at Women College Gandhinagar, Jammu and Girls Higher Secondary School Udhampur have been set up to facilitate physical voting by Kashmiri migrants, the spokesman said.

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