48 candidates join fray in just 2 days despite boycott call

Phase-II process begins in 10 districts

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 20: The State Election Commission (SEC) today notified Municipal elections for 10 districts of the State including six in Jammu region and four in Kashmir for second phase of Municipal elections while 48 candidates have so far joined the electoral fray during just two days of notification for Phase-I notwithstanding the boycott call given by two premier political parties including National Conference and PDP besides CPM and BSP for first phase of the voting, scheduled to be held on October 8.

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While election process for entire Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts, which will go to polling in first phase of Urban Local Bodies’ elections, was set into motion on September 18, the Commission today initiated the exercise for six more districts of Jammu region including Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Udhampur, Reasi and Kathua. With this, only Samba district has been left, where electoral exercise will be initiated on September 22 in the third phase of voting.
Official sources told the Excelsior that 48 candidates have filed nomination papers for Phase-I of polling during just two days including 37 male and 11 females.
Twenty four candidates each have filed nomination papers in Jammu and Poonch districts, sources said. Of 24 candidates of Jammu, 19 were male and five females while in Poonch district, 18 contestants were male and six females.
Four candidates of national parties and one from regional party besides 43 Independents have so far joined the election process for the Urban Local Bodies.
However, sources said, no nominations have so far been received in Kashmir and Ladakh region. Nomination process has already started for Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh region and Srinagar, Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Kulgam and Anantnag districts of Kashmir.
Out of 18 Urban Local Bodies in Jammu region for which election notification was issued today, two are Municipal Councils and 16 Municipal Committees.
Maximum number of six Municipal bodies is in Kathua district including Municipal Council Kathua, Municipal Committee Hiranagar, MC Nagri Parole, MC Lakhanpur, MC Billawar and MC Basohli.
Other Local Bodies, which will have voting in the second phase, include MC Doda, MC Bhaderwah, MC Thathri (all Doda district), MC Kishtwar (Kishtwar district), MC Ramban, MC Banihal and MC Batote (all in Ramban district), Municipal Council Udhampur, MC Chenani, MC Reasi and MC Katra (all in Udhampur district).
Meanwhile, for second phase of polling in Kashmir valley, the election process today started for Ward Nos 18-37 of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Municipal Council Anantnag, MC Langate, MC Sumbal, MC Kunzar, MC Watergam, MC Charar-i-Sharief, MC Beerwah, MC Magam, MC Yaripora, MC Frisal and MC Bijbehara.
For second phase of polling, the candidates can file nomination papers till September 27 while scrutiny of documents will be held on September 28. October 1 is last date for withdrawal of the nomination papers, while polling will be held on October 10 from 7 am to 2 pm. Counting will take place on October 20 and entire electoral exercise will be completed by October 27.
For third phase of polling, nominations will open on September 22 for four Municipal Committees of Samba district including Samba, Ramgarh, Vijaypur and Bari Brahamana.
In Kashmir, Srinagar Municipal Corporation Ward Nos. 6 to 15 and 38 to 53, Municipal Council Sopore, Municipal Committee Hajin, MC Uri, MC Tral, MC Awantipora, MC Mattan, MC Pahalgam, MC Ashmuqam and MC Seer Hamdan will go to polls in third phase.