1502 candidates join fray in Phase-I

55 file papers in South Kashmir so far

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 26: Number of candidates in the Kashmir valley have come forward to file nomination papers for Urban Local Bodies elections including two South Kashmir districts of Kulgam and Anantnag with total of 1502 candidates jumping into the electoral fray in the first phase for which process of filing nomination papers ended last evening.
Total nominations including today’s papers for second phase of polling has taken number of candidates close to 2000, official sources told the Excelsior.
They said 72 candidates have filed nomination papers in district Kupwara for first phase of polling including 51 male and 21 female while the number was 48 in Bandipora district, 33 of them male and 15 females.
In South Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Kulgam, where the militants have been terrorizing people the most, 55 nominations have been received for Phase-I polling of Municipal elections, scheduled to be held on October 8. While 40 candidates have joined the electoral process in Anantnag district including 30 male and 10 females, 15 have filed papers in Kulgam including 11 male and four females.
Forty candidates have joined the election fray in Baramulla including 26 male and 14 females while the number was 32 for Budgam district, 31 male and one female.
The Local Bodies of 10 districts in Kashmir have been segregated in four phase of polling to be held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16 in the Valley due to security considerations. Since only or two bodies of a district are going to polls in one phase, the number of candidates was low. Number of total candidates in the district will rise when nominations for all four phases are filed, sources said.
Highest number of 835 candidates have joined the electoral exercise in Jammu district including 598 male and 237 females followed by 203 in Rajouri including 143 male and 60 females and 100 in Poonch district, 69 male and 31 females.
Seventy five candidates have filed papers in Leh district, 59 male and 16 females and 31 in Kargil, 20 male and 11 females. Both these districts of Ladakh region will go to polls in Phase-1.
In Phase-II, 101 candidates have filed nomination papers in Kathua, 85 in Reasi, 106 in Udhampur and 30 in Ramban.
In Phase-I of polling out of total of 1502 nomination papers, 600 candidates belonged to national parties and 23 to regional parties. Rest were Independent candidates.
However, there was possibility of some candidates getting elected unopposed from their Wards in view of only single nominations. But number of such Wards was significantly very low, sources said.