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  • ‘Voting to take place from 6 am to 4 pm at 300 Polling Stations across JK’

SRINAGAR: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shaleen Kabra this evening said that in the 3rdPhase of Municipal Polls-2018 voting will take place at 300 polling stations across the State tomorrow on 13 October 2018. The polling time, he said, will be from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm. In a statement, Kabra said that 365 candidates are in the fray for 96 wards of 8 Urban Local Bodies for the 3rd Phase comprising a total electorate of 193990 electors. He said additional poll staff is being deployed at polling stations with large number of electors.

He said the overall poll percentage in the first two phases of the Municipal Polls has been 47.2%. The CEO said that to ensure free and fair elections, Observers have been deployed, including micro-observers at 222 hypersensitive polling stationsin the Kashmir Division and 19 in Jammu Division. The CEO said that Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations across the State for voting. He said Photo Voter Slips have already been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station.

Kabra said senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of polls. “Expenditure Observers are also keeping a watch on the expenditure by the candidates,” he said and added that for the poll day Micro Observers have been deployed in polling stations, particularly those considered sensitive/ hypersensitive. “Besides, the Zonal and Sector Magistrates have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of polls as well as monitoring the entire process,” CEO said and added that the Deputy Commissioners are undertaking Videography of all critical events related to the poll process.

Kabra said Control Rooms have been established in all the Municipal Bodies across the State to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) as also to disseminate information to the public. He said adequate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of polling across the State. He said the government has also declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote. He said as per standing guidelines, the Central Government offices shall not be closed but the employees who are electors of the poll going wards and desire to exercise their franchise shall be offered reasonable facility- by way of coming late to office / allowed to leave office early / short absence.

The CEO urged voters to exercise their right to franchise in order to choose their local self-government to address to their local needs. Pertinently, Municipal Elections-2018 are being held in four phases, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh electors. A total of 3372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards. Days of poll are 8th, 10th, 13th and 16th October for these four phases.