Srinagar: With many candidates elected unopposed and a number segments not receiving a single nomination, there will be voting in only 36 of the 132 wards which are scheduled to go for polls on Tuesday in the fourth and final phase of urban local bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the final phase, the electorate will seal the fate of 150 candidates in Srinagar and Ganderbal districts.
Officials said arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the polls which are scheduled to begin at 6.00 am and end at 4.00 pm.
They said the election staff and polling material have reached respective polling stations. Heavy security bandobast has been put in place near the polling stations, while government forces have been carrying out area-domination exercises over the last couple of days, officials said.
Eight municipal bodies spanning across six districts — all in Kashmir valley – were scheduled to go for polls on Tuesday in the fourth and final phase. However, out of the eight only two will see voting. There will be no contest in the rest of the six bodies.
The Ganderbal Municipal Committee will see voting in 12 wards out of the 17 in total. Polling will be held in 24 out of the total 25 wards in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) in the summer capital of the state.
Only these 36 wards will go to polls on Tuesday, in which 150 candidates are in the fray — 38 in Ganderbal and 112 in Srinagar. Five candidates from Ganderbal and one from Srinagar have been elected unopposed.
The rest of the bodies – Pattan in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Pampore, Pulwama and Khrew in Pulwama district in south, Shopian Municipal Committee in Shopian district in south and Dooru Verinag in Anantnag district also in south Kashmir will see no voting.
Together these six bodies have 90 wards. While candidates from 11 wards out of the total 13 in the Pattan municipal body have been elected unopposed, two wards received no nomination papers.
Not a single nomination paper was submitted in any of the 13 wards of the Khrew municipal body. In the Pampore municipal body, which has 17 wards, five candidates were elected unopposed, while 12 wards received no nomination papers.
Out of the 13 wards in Pulwama municipal body, no candidate was in the fray in 11 wards while two candidates were elected unopposed.
In the 17 wards of Shopian, 12 were elected without contest, while five wards received no nominations.
While one ward received no nomination in the municipal body of Dooru Verinag, 16 candidates were elected uncontested.
In total, out of the 132 wards across the eight bodies 44 wards received no nominations, while 52 wards saw candidates getting elected without contest.
National Conference, along with PDP and CPI(M), have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
The voter turnout in the first two phases of the civic polls in the valley has been low. While 8.3 per cent of the electorate turned up to vote in the 83 wards in the first phase on October 8, the poll percentage fell to an abysmal 3.4 per cent in the second phase held on October 10.
The third phase of polling for civic bodies in Kashmir on October 13 witnessed a low turnout of just 3.49 per cent, in line with the trend set in the first two phases.