More than six lakh voters will decide the fate of 298 candidates including 72 women contesting in the seventh phase of the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. A total of 31 DDC constituencies will go to polls including 13 in Kashmir division and 18 in Jammu division, state election commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma told reporters here.
Besides DDC elections, polling will be held for panchayat bypolls in 69 vacant sarpanch seats and 438 vacant panch seats, the SEC said. "As many as 31 constituencies are set to go for polling in the seventh phase of the ongoing DDC polls and 438 panch and 69 sarpanch seats will also witness voting on Wednesday across Jammu and Kashmir," Sharma said.
In the 13 constituencies of Kashmir division, there are 148 candidates in fray including 34 females while in Jammu, 150 candidates including 38 females are contesting in the 18 constituencies, he said. As many as 6,87,115 electors (3,59,187 male and 3,27,928 female voters) are going to elect their representatives in the 31 constituencies, he said, adding that a total of 1,852 polling stations have been designated — 1,068 in Kashmir division and 784 in Jammu division.
The SEC further informed that of the 117 sarpanch vacancies notified in the 7th phase, 30 have been elected unopposed. There shall be a contest in 69 constituencies and 231 candidates including 79 females are in fray, he added. Similarly, he said, of the total 1,270 panch vacancies notified in this phase, 416 were elected unopposed while 438 constituencies will go for elections with 1,000 candidates contesting the elections including 287 female candidates.
The SEC said that all the requisite arrangements including security and election material are in place. Referring to the measures adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharma said safety of all stakeholders including the voters will be enured.
"Sanitisers, thermal scanners and face masks have been arranged at the polling stations to ensure that SOPs issued by the concerned authorities, including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, are strictly followed," he added.