Assembly elections begin today

Have made all arrangements for fair polls: Narula

The assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are beginning Tuesday amid tight security arrangements and poll boycott call by separatist groups. 15 Assembly segments spanning seven districts will go to polls in the first phase.
Chief Electoral Officer, UmangNarula, told Greater Kashmir that all arrangements have been made for holding the “free and fair polls” from tomorrow.  “The polling parties have reached their respective polling stations,” he said.
He said five assembly segments of Kashmir, six in Jammu and all four seats of Ladakh, will go to polls on Tuesday. The polling shall start from  8 am to 4 pm.
The constituencies going to polls on Tuesday include Gurez, Bandipora, Sonawari, Kangan, Ganderbal, Kishtwar, Inderwal, Doda, Bhaderwah, Ramban, Banihal, Kargil, Zansakar and  Leh.
The CEO said 10, 61, 275 voters including 558178 males and 503086 females are eligible to exercise their franchise in these segments.
“Besides, 11 third gender electors are also eligible to cast their vote,” he said.
He said 1787 polling stations have been set-up across these segments.
Sources in Election Commission of India said 225 micro-observers shall be deployed at “critical polling stations” for monitoring the process while webcasting will take place at 159 polling stations in J&K.
“Besides, 118 video cameras and 148 digital cameras would be installed for surveillance of the poll process,” he said.
The CEO said “more than adequate security arrangements” have been made to “ensure free and fair polls.”
During the month-long electioneering, bigwigs of National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, left no stone unturned to woo the voters and even top leadership of BJP and Congress, which includes Prime Minister NarendraModi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and BJP president Amit Shah, also hit the campaign trail.
The electioneering in the 15 segments did not witness any violence.
Pertinently, pro-freedom groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Jammu and Liberation Front and Duktharan-e-Milat have asked people to boycott the poll process.