Srinagar (NVI): The voting for first phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections has begun in Jammu and Kashmir. Notably, this will be the first electoral exercise in the Union Territory after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.
According to officials, the polling began at around 7 am.
Polling will take place in 43 DDC constituencies of J&K. 25 seats are in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu. A total of 7,00,931 persons are eligible to cast their votes for these seats.
Officials also said that, 296 candidates are contesting elections- 172 in Kashmir and 124 in Jammu division.
The elections will also take place for 94 Sarpanch seats and 368 Panch constituencies.
There will be 2,111 polling stations- 1,298 in Kashmir and 813 in Jammu division. The polling will take place between 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.
DDC elections will be conducted in eight phases between November 28 and December 19; counting will take place on December 22.
Pertinent to mention here that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgamation of parties in the UT, is also contesting the DDC elections. The Gupkar alliance candidates will be face-to-face with BJP.
Political parties under Gupkar Alliance decided to contest in the elections unitedly on November 7, on the poll plank of restoration of Article 370 that was abolished by the Centre on August 5 last year. The Centre’s move annulled the constitutional provisions that conferred special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. J&K has since been bifurcated into two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.