1500 candidates file papers for first phase municipal polls

Despite threats from terrorists, about 1,500 candidates in Jammu and Kashmir have filed their nominations for the first phase of urban local body elections scheduled for October 8. The elections are to be held in four phases. Nominations for the first phase closed on Tuesday.

A total of 422 municipal wards will go to the polls on October 8. According to official sources, people in North Kashmir have virtually ignored the poll boycott call, with a sizeable number of candidates from this area.

“In Kupwara district, 72 have filed papers for the 26 wards each in Kupwara and Handwara municipal committees. For the 17 wards of Bandipora MC, 48 candidates have filed papers while their number for the 21 wards of the Baramulla MC is 40.”

The authorities refused to give details of the candidates in terror-hit South Kashmir. “Barring a few wards, we have received nominations for all municipal wards in Kulgam. We are not authorised to give more information,” Shamim Ahmad Wani, District Election Officer, said.

In Anantnag district in South Kashmir, at least 40 nominations for 28 wards in the three municipal committees of Achabal, Kokernag and Qazigund were received.
According to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, adequate security arrangements have been put in place for the polls with 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces reaching Kashmir for security. For the 247 wards of different municipal bodies in Jammu region, a total of 1,138 candidates — 815 in Jammu district, 223 in Rajouri and 100 in Poonch — have filed their nominations.

In Ladakh region,106 candidates have filed their papers for the Kargil and Leh MCs with 13 wards each. In Leh, 31 candidates have filed their nominations and in Kargil 75. While the srutiny will take place on Wednesday, the last date for withdrawals is September 28.