The Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commissioner, K.K. Sharma, on Thursday held a press conference and briefed the media about the arrangements being put in place to conduct the third phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections and panch/sarpanch bypolls in a smooth and peaceful manner.
While giving details about the third phase of DDC elections to be held on Friday, the SEC said that there are a total of 280 constituencies in the UT of J&K (14 in each district), out of which voting will be conducted in 33 constituencies, including 16 in Kashmir division and 17 in Jammu division, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
He further informed that there are total 305 candidates in the electoral fray, including 166 from Kashmir division and 139 from Jammu division, for the DDC elections in Phase 3. Out of the 305 candidates, 252 are male and 53 are female candidates.
Regarding the sarpanch bypolls, Sharma said that out of the 126 constituencies, polling shall take place in 66 constituencies and a total of 184 candidates are contesting in Phase 3 of polling, including 144 male and 40 female candidates. As many as 40 sarpanch constituencies have been filled unopposed.
Similarly, for the panch bypolls, Sharma said that there are 1,738 constituencies, of which 798 have been elected unopposed. Polling shall take place in 327 constituencies and there are 749 candidates in fray.
The SEC further informed that in the third phase, 7,37,648 electorate are eligible to cast their votes in Phase 3, which includes 3,85,675 males and 3,51,973 females. He also said that out of these 7,37,648 voters, 3,74,604 are from Jammu division and 3,63,044 from Kashmir division. He also said that 2,046 polling stations, including 792 in Jammu division and 1,254 in Kashmir division, have been setup for the conduct of Phase 3 polls in a smooth manner.
The SEC said that all the arrangements regarding elections have been completed, including manpower, election materials and security arrangements. He said that adequate security arrangements have been made in all the poll-bound areas.
Regarding the SOPs related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SEC urged the people to follow the guidelines issued by the Commission besides wearing face masks and maintaining social distance during polling. He also said that sanitisers, thermal scanner and face masks have been arranged at the polling stations.
Special polling stations at Women’s College Gandhinagar, Jammu, and Girls Higher Secondary School, Udhampur, have been setup to facilitate physical voting by Kashmiri migrants. DDC elections and panchayat bypolls are being held in eight phases from November 28 to December 19. The counting of votes will take place on December 22.