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DDC Polls: Over 8 lakh voters to exercise their right to vote in Phase 5 tomorrow: SEC K K Sharma

In past four phases, over 7 lakh voters voted; 1193 polling stations in Valley hypersensitive ; Polling material already stationed in all polling stations across UT, 37 constituencies to go for polling, Mehbooba Mufti not under detention, was barred to visit Budgam due to security concerns

Jammu, Dec 09: State Election Commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma Wednesday said that in the fifth phase of ensuing District Development Council (DDC) polls scheduled for tomorrow, 8.27 lakh voters will take part and choose their representatives, the highest number over voters so far.

He said in total 2104 polling stations have been set up of which 1193 polling stations established in Kashmir, have been declared as hypersensitive. Addressing a press conference in Jammu, Sharma said that in the fifth phase of polls being held tomorrow in J&K, a total of 8, 27, 519 voters will participate. “This will be the larger participation of voters in the phase 5 of DDC polls slated for tomorrow,” said Sharma as per news agency.

He said that in the previous four phases of DDC polls, over seven lakh voters exercised their franchise. “Tomorrow, 34 DDC constituencies will go to polls of which 17 are in Kashmir and 20 in Jammu,” Sharma said. He said that there are a total 2104 polling stations of which 1193 are in Kashmir of which all are hypersensitive. “There are adequate security measures for all the polling stations,” he said.

He said that against the 17 DDC constituencies of Kashmir division going to poll, there are 155 candidates in fray including 30 females. “In Jammu division, there are 144 candidates in fray for the 20 DDC constituencies in this phase, including 40 females,” the SEC said.

He said that in the 5th phase, 827519 electors are eligible to cast their votes including 433285 males and 394234 females. “Among these 439529 are from Jammu division and 387990 are from Kashmir division,” Sharma said.

He said that 2104 polling stations have been setup across the UT for this phase, of which, 914 are in Jammu division and 1190 are in Kashmir division.  Of 2104 polling stations, 1193 are Hyper sensitive, 472 are sensitive and 439 have been categorized as normal.

Asked about whether there are any vacant seats in DDC polls, he said that no seat is vacant in DDC polls so far. “Elections are going fine in J&K. A minor incident took place during the polling so far, but elections were held peacefully and smoothly,” the SEC said, adding that those incidents have taken place in the past as well.

He said that there was a grenade blast in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, but that wasn’t election related. “An encounter was also reported at Pulwama district where three militants were killed. However, the situation is under control and polling parties have reached their respective polling stations across J&K, smoothly,” the SEC said.

Asked why PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is not being allowed to venture out of her Gupkar residence, the SEC said: “She was advised not to visit remote areas of Budgam district due to security concerns. There was Bharat Bhand, and police had inputs that some elements may try to disrupt the election process.  Mehboobaji is a Z-plus protected and SSP protected person as well. Police have confirmed to me that she is not under any detention and is free to go campaigning.”

To a query if weather conditions deteriorate, he said that in case weather takes ugly turn during polling tomorrow, the concerned District Development Commissioners (DDCs), will take a call and change the location of the polling station if the need arises. Since large number of voters will be participating in the phase-5 of DDC polls tomorrow, the SEC appealed the voters to take all precautions that include wearing of phases and using sanitizers available outside the polling stations


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