J-K: Voting for 7th phase of Panchayat polls underway

Srinagar: The polling for the seventh phase of panchayat elections in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has begun on Tuesday. The voting commenced at 8 this morning and will conclude at 2 pm.

Today, the polling is taking place in as many as 30 blocks from 15 districts in the state. These include 14 blocks of six districts of Jammu region and 16 blocks falling in nine districts of Kashmir Valley.

The security has been tightened in all the poll bound areas. These elections in the state are being held on a non-party basis in nine phases.

According to the state election commission, an electorate of 4,75,865 will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies and 3,45,880 for Panch constituencies. For this phase, 30 blocks from 15 districts of Jammu and Kashmir divisions are going to polls.

A total of 892 polling booths have been categorized as Hypersensitive of which 428 are in Kashmir Division and 464 in Jammu Division. Basic minimum facilities have been ensured in all the polling stations for facilitating the voters.

To oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of Panchayat Elections, scores of government officers have been appointed as general observers.

These elections were announced last month, but two major political parties which had dominated the region– The National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the polls accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of not taking a firm stand on the protection of Article 35(A) of the Constitution which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.