Srinagar: Not a single candidate has filed nomination papers for 177 municipal wards out of a total 624 in the Kashmir Valley, while 215 wards will return their representative unopposed.
The filing of nomination papers for the four-phase municipal polls ended on Tuesday. Voting is scheduled for October 8, 10, 13 and 16.
Given the situation of zero candidates in 177 wards, over one lakh electorates would not be exercising their voting rights.
Another one lakh voters in 215 other wards would also not exercise their franchise as each of these wards has just one contestant.
The municipal and panchayat poll boycott called by the separatists has adversely impacted the south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian where the 177 municipal wards did not witness any filing of nomination papers.
The rest had just one candidate left in the fray.
The peaceful conduct of Municipal and Panchayat elections would be a major challenge for the Governor’s administration.
Authorities have promised personal security and secured lodgings to contestants in these polls.
A total of 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces were to be deployed to ensure peaceful conduct of these polls.
The National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have decided not to participate in these elections.