321 candidates in fray for 41 constituencies
Srinagar, Nov 30: As many as 321 candidates are in fray for 43 constituencies, including 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu, during the second phase of District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, State Election Commissioner K K Sharma on Monday said.
He said that all arrangements, including security, have been finalized for smooth conduct of DDC elections and panchayat bypolls.
“There are a total 280 constituencies in UT of J&K (14 in each district), of which voting will be conducted in 43 constituencies, including 25 from Kashmir Division and 18 from Jammu Division, from 0700 hrs to 14 hrs in phase II. A total of 321 candidates, including 196 from Kashmir division and 125 from Jammu division, are in fray for DDC elections during Phase II,” Sharma told reporters.
Similarly, he said that the Sarpanch elections will be conducted in 83 constituencies and total 223 candidates, including 72 females, are contesting in phase II.
The SEC said simultaneously Panchs by-polls is going to be held in 331 constituencies for which a total 709 candidates, including 157 females, are in fray.
He further said that 58 sarpanchs, including 29 females, and 804 panchs, including 256 females, have been elected unopposed.
Giving further details, he said that there are more than 57 lakh voters in J&K who eligible to cast their votes in the DDC polls. Of these, he said more than 7.95 lakh voters, including 406845 from Kashmir and 388273 from Jammu, shall use their right to vote in phase II.
“Kashmir division has 1,94,821 female voters whereas Jammu division has 183553 female electors,” he said, adding 2142 polling stations, including 837 in Jammu division and 1305 in Kashmir division, have been set up to conduct the Phase II of the elections.
Answering a question, he said that authorities can’t provide about 8 lakh facemasks to voters and urged to people to come to the polling stations with their faces covered. “Administration can’t provide about 8 lakh masks to eligible voters on Tuesday. But, it is mandatory for people to wear masks when they go out of their residences as per the guidelines issued to curtail COVID-19. So I urge people to strictly follow the guidelines, especially wearing face masks and maintaining social distance, during the polling process,” he added.
However, he said that sanitizers, thermal scanners and face masks shall be provided to the voters, in case they forget to carry their own face masks/ sanitizers.
The SEC said that special polling booths have also been set up for Kashmiri Migrants at Jammu and Udhampur so that they can also participate in the election process.