J-K Panchayat polls: Voting to take place at 3174 polling booths in Phase-VI

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Dec 1 (ANI): Amid tight security, polling for the sixth phase of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held today at 3174 polling stations including 410 in Kashmir division and 2764 in Jammu division. The timing for polling is from 8 am to 2 pm. According to the state's Chief Electoral Officer, Shaleen Kabra, 771 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive including 410 in Kashmir division and 361 in Jammu division. He said 7156 candidates in the fray for the 406 Sarpanch seats and 2277 Panch seats in Phase-VI while 111 Sarpanchs and 1048 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this Phase. Kabra said in the areas going to polls in Phase-VI, an electorate of 597396 electors will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies and 457581 for Panch constituencies. "Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station," he said. Kabra said the state witnessed 71.1 per cent polling in Phase-V on November 29. In Poonch district, he said, re-polling for Sarpanch seat in Sanai Panch Halqa of block Surankote witnessed a turnout of 79.78 per cent and deferred polling in Panchayat HalqaNonabandi witnessed a turnout of 92.23 per cent. Kabra added that senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of Panchayat Elections. Also, Expenditure Observers are keeping a watch on the expenditure by the candidates. In addition, for the poll day, Micro Observers have been placed in polling stations, particularly those considered hypersensitive. Zonal and Sector Magistrates too have been deployed. He said Control Rooms have been established in all the districts across the State to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct as also to disseminate information to the public. Security arrangements have been made including the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Kabra said holiday has been declared on the day of polls in the Panchayat areas going for voting to enable the voters to cast their votes. He said special casual leave shall also be granted to the employees who have to go to other areas to exercise their right to franchise. 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 to do so.
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