SRINAGAR: Notwithstanding the poll boycott announced by two major political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Saturday decided to go ahead with Urban Local Body (ULB) polls.
The SEC has announced that a four-phase municipal election would be held from October 8. “We shall be holding the municipal elections first and then the panchayat elections. The polling for four phases will be held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16,” the state’s Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra told reporters.
The last municipal elections were held in the state in January 2005 after a gap of 23 years. The civic polls could not be conducted since 2011 due to security concerns.
Kabra said the notification for the elections would be issued on September 18, 20, 22 and 24 respectively, and that since these are party-based elections, counting would take place on October 20, after all the phases are over, at the respective district headquarters. The entire process is expected to be completed by October 27.
The announcement of poll schedule and the model code of conduct have already come into effect.
According to the CEO, Electronic Voting Machines would be used and “the migrant voters will caste their vote through postal ballot.”
The state has 79 municipal bodies, including the two corporations for the twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu. There are 1,145 wards in 79 municipal bodies, which have a total electoral strength of 1,69,721.
The state’s two major political parties — National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party — have decided to boycott the ULB and panchayat polls by linking their participation with the Central government’s stand on Article 35A, which grants special privileges to residents of the state.