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7th phase of panchayat polls today.

The poling for phase seventh of the ongoing panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held Tuesday at 2714 polling stations across the state, officials said.

J&K’s chief electoral officer ShaleenKabra said that 892 polling stations have been categorised as “hypersensitive” in this phase, including 428 in Kashmir division and 464 in Jammu division. The polling time is 8 am to 2 pm.In a statement, Kabra said 5575 candidates are in the fray for 341 sarpanch and 1798 panch seats in the seventh phase, while 85 sarpanchs and 912 panchs have been elected “unopposed” in this phase.

“In areas going to polls in phase seven, the electorate of 475865 will be voting for sarpanch constituencies and 345880 for panch constituencies. Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling stations,” he said.

At the end of six phases of panchayat polls, the overall voter turnout of 73.6 percent has been recorded across Jammu and Kashmir (46.1% in Kashmir division and 82.8% in Jammu division).

Kabra said basic minimum facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all polling stations across J&K, while senior government officers have been appointed as general observers to oversee 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. Besides, the zonal and sector magistrates too have been deployed,” he said.

Kabra urged voters to “come forward and exercise their right to franchise to choose their local self-government to address their local needs”.

JRL CALLS FOR SHUTDOWN 

The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have asked people to observe a complete protest shutdown in Trehgam, Qadirabad, Qaziabad, Naidkhai, Rafiabad, Pattan, Sukhnag, Parnewa, Shadimarg, Kapran, Hermain, Pombay, Larnoo, Breng, Sagam areas going to polls in the seventh phase of “sham panchayat elections thrust on them by the authoritarian state”.

“People must demonstrate their total rejection and disregard of this futile exercise by staying away and boycotting it completely. People’s demand is: No to all election, only right of self-determination,” a JRL spokesman said in a statement.

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