Voting begins for IInd phase of Urban Local Bodies, 1029 candidates in fray for 263 wards across JK

Amid tight seceuity arrangements polling in the second phase of Urban Local Bodies began on Wednesday.At 8:00 am 341 votes (211 from male and 130 from females) were cast in Sumbal. The voting started at 6: am and it will end at 4:00 pm.
Over 1000 candidates are contesting polls in the second phase in 263 wards spanning 13 districts across the state – seven of which are in Kashmir.
The second phase of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls would be held in the State on Wednesday and fate of over 1,000 candidates would be decided by the voters.
Officials said Tuesday security arrangements have been put in place for smooth conduct of the second phase elections, which will take place from 6 am to 4 pm.
The second phase of polling would cover a total of 263 wards spanning 13 districts across the state – seven of which are in the Valley, they said.
According to officials, 1,198 nominations were received for these wards and after scrutiny and withdrawal, 1,029 contestants are in the fray for the polls.
Out of 1,029 candidate, 65 have won the polls uncontested, including 61 from Kashmir Valley.
They said no polling would take place over three dozen wards in the Valley as no nomination papers were received.
No nomination was submitted in all 13 wards of Frisal municipal committee of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, while only one nomination was received for 13 wards of Beerwah municipal committee in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, officials said. Frisal, a part of Kulgam Assembly constituency, is represented by lone CPI(M) legislator M Y Tarigami, while Beerwah is represented in the state Assembly by former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah.
A police official said security arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the polls in all the areas were people would vote Wednesday, including in the 20 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) in the city here.
In the first phase polls held on Monday, the turnout in Kashmir was a paltry 8.3 per cent whereas 65 per cent of the electorate voted in Jammu and Ladakh recorded 62.1 per cent voting.
Polling for first phase was by and large peaceful in the four phase election to urban local bodies, which has been boycotted by two main regional parties — the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The separatists have called for boycott of the polls while militants have threatened the candidate of “severe consequences”.
Meanwhile, A group of voters Wednesday barred photojournalists from covering Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls at Khushpora, Zainkote in the ouotskirts of Srinagar city.
“The voters asked us not to capture pictures at the polling station and threatened to break our cameras if we do so,” said a photojournalist.
On Monday when first phase of ULB polls was held photojournalists were not allowed to take pictures at Bemina area of the city.

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