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J&K civic elections: Polling dates announced, counting of votes on October 20

Civic polls in J&K will be held in four phases from Oct 8.

J&K civic elections: Polling dates announced, counting of votes on October 20

JAMMU: Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in four phases starting from October 8 and the results will be declared on October 20, the chief electoral officer announced on Saturday.

Municipal elections shall be held in four phases. Date of polling would be October 08, October 10, October 13 and October 16,'' Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said in a press conference on Saturday.

Kabra continued by saying that polling will be held from 7 AM to 2 PM and the ''counting shall take place on October 20 after all the phases are over.''

Ahead of the announcement of polling dates, state's Governor Satya Pal Malik appealed to all parties to participate in the electoral process.

''The issue of Article 35 A is sub-judice since a long time. We had said that we can't take a stand until a new government is formed here. I would like to request them (all parties) to participate in the election. Elections are neither for Delhi nor me but for the people of J&K,'' Governor Malik said.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had earlier denied reports that the upcoming local body and municipal elections in the state will be deferred in view of boycott calls from the National Conference and the PDP.

Clearing the air on the issue on Wednesday, the state's Chief Secretary said, "Municipal and Panchayat polls will be held as per schedule."

He also refuted media reports that Governor Satya Pal Malik's administration was considering deferment of the municipal polls in view of the boycott calls by NC and the PDP.

Subrahmanyam said this while interacting with the media on the sidelines of an official function in Srinagar on Wednesday.

The regional National Conference (NC) and the Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had already announced the boycott of these polls.

Announcing their decision the two parties said that they were not against the electoral process but claimed that there were chaos and confusion regarding the Centre's stand on Article 35A which gives special privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Asking the Centre to clear its stand on the issue, the two parties said that they would not participate in any electoral exercise till the confusion on Article 35A is cleared.  

Meanwhile, the Congress too recently said that the current ground situation in the Kashmir Valley is not conducive for holding these polls.