2nd phase of Municipal Elections begins in J&K today; adequate security plan devised

 Aasif Suhaaf, Jammu, Oct 10: In Jammu & Kashmir, the 2nd phase of Municipal Elections is being held in the State for 263 Municipal wards including 49 in Kashmir and 214 in Jammu region.Chief Electoral Officer J&K said that in the 2nd Phase of Municipal Polls voting will take place at 544 polling stations across the State.The polling time has been rescheduled from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm. He said that 270 polling stations have been designated for voting in Kashmir Division and 274 in Jammu Division.He said 881 candidates are in the fray in Jammu division and 148 in Kashmir division for Phase-2.The total electorate is 3,46,980 with 1,28,104 in Jammu Division belonging to 18 Municipal bodies and 2, 18, 876 in Kashmir Division of 5 Municipal bodies in the areas going to polls today.In the first phase on October 8, Jammu Division recorded 65% poll percentage, Kashmir Division 18.6% including Leh & Kargil; Ladakh Region---62.1% and Kashmir Valley recorded  8.2% voter turnout.  The overall State Poll Percentage was recorded at 56.7%.Meanwhile, adequate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of polling across the State. The government has formulated unprecedented security plan for the smooth conduct of Urban Local Bodies (ULB)  in the state. The plan covers safety and security of both contestants and the voters in most sensitive areas in Kashmir and elsewhere in the State.Adequate arrangements for the security of the candidates, their personal security as well as the accommodation arrangements have been made. Area domination, checking and operations have been going on to ensure general sense of security. Additional 400 companies of central security forces are being deployed in the state over and above the security forces already stationed.

The government has also declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.Municipal Elections-2018 are being held in four phases, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh. A total of 3372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards.The third phase of Municipal Elections is scheduled on 13th while 4th on 16th October.Separatist conglomerate “Joint Resistance Leadership” comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, has called shutdown in all poll bound areas in the 2nd phase across Kashmir. Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has also threatened action against the contestants and the participants in the ULB and Panchayat elections. Yasin Malik continue to remain lodged in local jail.