The second phase of the urban local bodies elections in the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted on Wednesday October 8. The first phase of the poll saw a low voter turnout on October 8, especially in the Kashmir division. There was only 8.3 per cent voters turn out in the militancy-wrecked Kashmir Valley.
For the second phase polling will be conducted in the 12 districts of Kashmir division and Jammu division viz., Srinagar, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Kulgam, Anantnag, Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Udhampur, Reasi and Kathua.
384 wards will vote to elect from over 1000 candidates who are in fray in the second phase. 65 candidates have won elections unopposed. The polling will start at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm. Following wards in will vote tomorrow:
These elections are taking place after 13 years, the last urban bodies polls were held in 2005. Two major political parties of the state, National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party, are boycotting these polls over the issue of Article 35-A. They have accused the BJP-led Central govt doing enough to protect Article 35-A of the Constitution. Article 35-A is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
For the first time ever, electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used in these elections. Migrant voters are also casting their votes through postal ballot. Counting of votes shall take place on October 20, after voting for all the phases is over.