Srinagar: Amid shutdown in the poll bound areas, polling began Saturday for third phase of municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir to seal the fate of 365 candidates in the fray across the state. Polling began at 6 am amid stringent security arrangements, officials said.
They said the voting will take place at 300 polling stations across the state and would end at 4 pm.
Out of the 300 polling stations, 241 stations – 222 in the Kashmir Division and 19 in Jammu Division have been categorised hypersensitive, they said.
The officials said 365 candidates are in the fray for 96 wards of eight urban local bodies for the third phase comprising a total electorate of 1,93,990 electors.
The officials said massive security arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.
They said additional poll staff has been deployed at polling stations with large number of electors.
The officials said the overall poll percentage in the first two phases of the municipal polls has been 47.2 per cent.
Municipal elections, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh, are being held in four phases. The last phase will take place on Tuesday.
A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards.
National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and CPI(M) have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.
The joint resistance leadership has called for a complete shutdown in the poll bound areas.