Ongoing surveys for the latest phase of DDC surveys in Jammu and Kashmir
Elections began in Jammu and Kashmir for 28 constituencies in the final phase of the eight-phase district development council (DDC) elections amid freezing temperatures on Saturday. 285 Panch and 84 Sarpanch seats are also being voted on simultaneously across the Union Territory.
After the voting ends on Saturday afternoon, the focus will shift to the counting of votes and the political parties in the fray will await the results of the first electoral test of strength on the ground following the elimination of Article 370, which removed the Jammu and Kashmir special. state and made it a Union territory. Results for the 280 seats will be released on Tuesday, December 22.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ran a high-octane campaign for the DDC polls, while the Peoples’ Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration or the PAGD, an amalgamation of six mainly regional political parties, left the campaign tasks to its grassroots workers.
The voting process was largely peaceful save for a couple of grenade attacks on security forces and an attack on the Apni party candidate in South Kashmir. A personal security officer (PSO) of a former PPD leader was also killed in Srinagar during the long electoral process.
13 of the 28 seats being voted on today are from the Kashmir division and 15 from the Jammu division. A total of 168 candidates are in the fray in the last stage of the elections, according to the state commissioner of elections (SEC), KK Sharma.
For the DDC’s 13 seats in the Kashmir division, 83 candidates are up for grabs, including 31 women. In the Jammu division, a total of 85 candidates, including 15 women, compete in the 15 electoral districts of the DDC.
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A total of 630,443 voters, including 327,168 men and 303,275 women, are eligible to vote today for the 28 electoral districts of the DDC. A total of 1,703 polling stations have been established, of which 1,028 are in the Kashmir division and 675 in the Jammu division.
The SEC added that of the 165 sarpanch vacancies notified in the eighth phase, 43 have been elected unopposed. “There will be a contest in 84 electoral districts and 249 candidates, including 52 women, are in the fray,” he reported.
Of the total 1,457 panch vacancies notified in this phase, 496 have been elected unopposed, while 285 districts will be contested by 596 candidates, including 156 women.