According to the officials, voting for the first phase of the maiden District Development Council election in Jammu and Kashmir has started.
It is a triangular contest among the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD- an amalgam of some mainstream political parties), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and National Conference (NC).
All these parties are seeking the restoration of the special status of J&K, revoked by the Centre, Apni Party (floated by Altaf Bukhari, former finance minister), and the BJP last year.
The polling process is an eight-phase process and around 1,475 candidates are in the fray for the first phase of the polls. Among them, 296 candidates will contest for the first phase of the DDC polls in the UT – 172 of them are from Kashmir valley and 124 from the Jammu region.
In the first phase, 43 constituencies will go for polls, which include 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu. For the by-polls to Panchayats, 899 candidates are in the fray for the Panch seats and 280 for the sarpanch seats.
According to the officials, 2,644 polling stations have been set up, where there are 7,03,620 electors for the current phase.