EC announces five-phased polls in J&K, Jharkhand; counting on December 23

The Election Commission on Saturday announced five-phased assembly elections to be held in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, beginning from November 25 and ending December 20.

EC announces five-phased polls in J&K, Jharkhand; counting on December 23
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New Delhi: The Election Commission on Saturday announced five-phased assembly elections to be held in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, beginning from November 25 and ending December 20.

By-elections to three Delhi assembly constituencies would be held November 25.

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IMPORTANT DATES:

  • The five-phases will be November 25, December 2, December 9, December 14 and December 20.
  • The three Delhi constituencies where by-elections will be held Nov 25 are Krishna Nagar, Mehrauli and Tughlakabad.
  • Counting for all the seats would be held December 23, the poll panel announced.
  • Elections will be held in 87 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and 81 of Jharkhand.
  • Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately.

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Jammu and Kashmir

Brushing aside reservations of ruling National Conference, the Election Commission decided to go ahead with holding Assembly polls in flood-devastated Jammu and Kashmir and announced a five-phased schedule between November 23 and December 20.

Polling will take place on November 25, December 2, 9, 14 and 20, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said at a press conference here.

Counting of votes will take place on December 23, he said.

With the announcement of elections, the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately.

The current six-year term of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly ends on January 19.

National Conference had expressed reservations to holding of polls at present because of the devastation caused by floods last month.

Asked whether it was the right decision to hold polls in Jammu and Kashmir in view widespread destruction caused by floods, Sampath said the calamity will have no "special impact" on polls.

He said post-flood situation, along with other aspects like climate, festivals and law and order situation, have been taken into account while deciding the poll schedule.

"Except for one political party, most of the political parties (in Jammu and Kashmir) were in favour of holding elections on time. They said there is no reason, no justification for delaying the polls. The EC's mandate is to hold elections on time," he said.

"The Commission has made two-stage verification before announcing the poll schedule. In the first phase, the Commission had sent its senior officials who held elaborate discussion with the stake holders.

"This was followed by a visit by full Commission which held talks with political parties and all stake holders. Barring one political party, all others favoured holding of elections on time and also made it clear that there was no justification for delaying the polls," he said.

On whether the flood furry will have an impact on polling percentage in the state, Sampath said there was no such information. "The stake holders have told the Commission there won't be much of impact on the voter turnout," he said.

Notification for the first phase of polling in the state having 72.25 lakh voters will be issued on October 28.

The first phase of polling on November 25 will cover 15 assembly seats. These include three in Baramulla, two in Srinagar, four in Ladakh and six in Udhampur.

Nine each assembly seats in Kashmir and Jammu regions will be going to polls in the second phase on December two. Of these, maximum of six are in Udhampur, five in Baramulla, four in Anantnag and three in Jammu.

The notification for the second phase will be issued on November seven with date of polling December two.

The third phase, for which polling will be held on December 9, will cover remaining seven seats of Baramulla Parliamentary constituency, five seats in Budgam of central Kashmir and four from Anantnag.

The fourth phase, for which notification will be issued on November 19 and polling held on December 14, will cover nine assembly seats of prestigious Srinagar city, seven remaining seats of Anantnag and two from Jammu parliamentary seat.

Five seats of Udhampur Parliamentary seat and 15 of Jammu area, covering the nine assembly seats of Jammu city, will go to polls in the final phase on December 20.

The term of the present Assembly was till January 19, next year.

The CEC said steps have been taken to ensure free and fair elections by creating an atmosphere in which each elector is able to access the polling station without being obstructed or being unduly influenced or intimidated by anybody.

As many as 10,015 polling booths will be set up for facilitating 77.25 lakh voters to exercise their franchise. In last assembly elections held in 2008, the state had witnessed a good voter turnout of 61 per cent during seven-phased polling despite winters and decided the fate of 1354 candidates which included 517 independents.

Jharkhand

Apart from the usual election dates which are the same for both the states, the Chief Election Commissioner said that in Jharkhand nine seats are reserved for SCs and STs.

The number of electors in Jharkhand is 2,07,44, and they will cast their votes at 24,648 polling booths.

The term of the legislative assembly of Jharkhand ends on January 3, 2015.

"The electoral rolls for Jharkhand were finalised July 31," Sampath said.

Delhi Bypolls

By-elections to three Delhi assembly constituencies would be held November 25.

The three Delhi constituencies where by-elections will be held Nov 25 are Krishna Nagar, Mehrauli and Tughlakabad.

Counting for all the seats would be held December 23, the poll panel announced.

With Agency Inputs

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