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Campaigning ends for LC seats’ polls in J&K
SRINAGAR, Dec 1: Election campaigning for the four Legislative Council seats under Panchayat quota ended this evening with political parties making their last effort to woo the Sarpanches and Panches to vote in favour of their respective candidates. On the final day of campaigning for the four council seats, the candidates of both ruling alliance and opposition parties with their party stalwarts made vigorous efforts to ensure their victory in these elections amid call for `conscience vote’ by rebel BJP group, PDF and boycott calls by Samajwadi Party, separatists and JKDF, a political faction being led by Anil Gupta son of Jammu West MLA Prof Chaman Lal Gupta.

37 candidates are in fray for the four council seats, which are going to polls on December 3. 21 candidates are contesting the two seats in Jammu region and 16 are fighting it out for the two seats in the Kashmir Valley.

The total electorates for the council polls comprise 33,540 elected panches and sarpanches, with 15,628 in Jammu region and 17,912 in the Kashmir Valley. Votes would be cast through Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) at 286 polling booths. Counting of votes will take on December 6 and the result is expected on the same day. Amid accusations and counter accusations, the senior leaders of the coalition alliance and opposition parties participated in the entire polling campaign to woo Sarpanches and Panches to ensure victory of their party candidates.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz, Mehbooba Mufti and senior leaders of varies political parties campaigned vigorously.

The ruling Congress-National Conference (NC) alliance is contesting the elections jointly, fielding two candidates each. The coalition has fielded Ghulam Nabi Monga and Sham Lal Bhagat of Congress and Ali Mohammed Dar and Dr Shehnaz Ali of the National Conference as its candidates, while the PDP had fielded Yasir Reshi and Peer Mohammed Hussain in Kashmir valley and Gurmeet Singh (Sarpanch from Kaloen block in RS Pura) and Ved Mahajan from Jammu. NPP has fielded Mohammed Maqbool Malik and Dr Iqbal Wani from Kashmir division while Anita Thakur and Rafiq Chandel will contest from Jammu region. Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Col Uttam Singh and Rachhpal Verma from Jammu and Ashraf Ali from Kashmir.

State government has also identified the normal sensitive and hypersensitive booths in Kashmir region.

A senior police official said the number of normal polling booths is 69 while 211 polling booths have been declared as sensitive and 156 hypersensitive in volatile areas of north and south Kashmir. He added that around 18 security personnel including a section of CRPF (Section comprises eight people) and cops will be guarding a polling booth.

In the meanwhile for the conduct of elections for four seats of MLC from the Panchayat quota, all the Deputy Commissioners (AROs) of both the divisions have been asked to keep their offices and subordinate offices open on December 2, 2012 (Sunday) and ensure safety and security of men and election material.
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News Updated at : Sunday, December 2, 2012
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