JK to have 8-phased BDC polls from Nov 28-Dec 19

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JK to have 8-phased BDC polls from Nov 28-Dec 19Municipal and Panchayat by-elections also during the same period

Jammu, November 4: An year after its conversion into a Union Territory, Jammu and Kashmir is holding its first electoral exercise in eight phases beginning November 28 for setting up the first ever District Development Councils in which not only domiciles including West Pakistan refugees, but other outsiders also who have been ordinarily residing in the UT for past six months, will be eligible to cast vote.

“Yes, according to provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, any person ordinarily residing at any place for past six months is eligible to case vote there. So anybody who has come here from any place and has been residing for the past six months can vote in these elections, provided he/she has get themselves registered as voters before the last date of notification issued for that phase,” elaborated Chief Electoral Officer Hridesh Kumar. The Representation of Peoples Act has no provision of identifying voters on the basis of domicile, he added.

Earlier announcing the election schedule for all the three elections – DDCs, Urban and Rural Local Bodies, both the State Election Commission K K Sharma and the Chief Electoral Officer Hridesh Kumar here on Wednesday said that separate notifications for first phase of elections and by-election will be issued on November 5, followed by November 7 (second phase), November 11 (third phase), November 13 (fourth phase), November 16 (fifth phase), November 19 (sixth phase), November 21 (seventh phase) and November 21 (eighth phase).

Similarly, the polling for first phase will be held on November 28, followed by December 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 19. While the counting of votes for Panches and Sarpanches will take place the same day, the counting of votes for DDC elections will be done on December 22. Similarly, the counting of votes polled for urban body by-election will also be held on December 22 and the entire election process completed on December 24.

Polling will be held for all the 280 constituencies spread across all the 20 districts of the UT (each having 14 constituencies), while for by-election will be held for 234 vacancies in urban local bodies including 230 in Kashmir.

Similarly, in the by-election for rural local bodies, a total of 1,088 sarpanch and 12,153 panch constituencies are going to polls during the eight phases.

Apart from rural local body by-election, electoral exercise for DDCs and urban local bodies will be held on party basis. While EVMs will be used during polling for urban local bodies, vote will be cast through ballot paper in the DDCs and rural local body polls.

Pointing out that the term of newly elected DDCs will be for five years and that of panches and sarpanches elected against existing vacancies for rest of the period of the panchayat, Sharma said that scheduled tribes have been provided reservation in the DDCs on the basis of their population in respective districts. The women from among ST community has reservation within the seats reserved for ST community, he added.