Second phase of panchayat polls underway in J-K

Srinagar, Nov 20: Voting for the second phase of the Jammu and Kashmir panchayat polls is underway at over 2,100 polling stations in the state.

The nine-phased elections, being conducted on the non-party basis, began Saturday.

The National Conference, PDP and the CPI(M) have announced to stay away from the electoral exercise due to the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

Polling is underway at 2,179 polling stations across the state, including 828 in Kashmir division and 1,351 in Jammu division, officials said.

They said 4,014 candidates are in the fray for 281 sarpanch and 1,286 panch seats in the second phase.

The officials said 90 sarpanch and 1,069 panch have been elected unopposed in this phase.

In Kashmir, 490 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive and in the Jammu division 111, they said, adding that there are 3,29,818 electors for sarpanch seats and 2,07,796 for panch constituencies.

The officials said all arrangements, including those related to security, are in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.