Urban Local Body Polls: In four districts, 772 file nomination on last day

On the last day of filing nominations for the second phase of urban local body (ULB) elections in JK, as many as 772 candidates filed their nominations in Kathua, Udhampur, Doda and Ramban districts,, election officials said on Friday.

Nominations were filed by 380 candidates in Kathua district on Thursday, followed by 198 in Udhampur district, 120 in Doda district and 74 in Ramban district.

The candidates have filed nominations for five municipal committees and one municipal council of the district, the officials said, adding 266 men and 114 women are in fray for the polls.

In 80 wards of Kathua district, 380 nominations have been filed, of which 152 came from national parties, 30 from regional parties, and 198 nominations were filed by independent candidates, they added.

The scrutiny of nominations will be held Friday and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 1. The polls are slated for October 10, from 7 am to 2 pm, they added.

A total of 198 candidates filed their nominations in Udhampur district for one Municipal Council and two Municipal Committees of the district. 138 men and 60 women have filed their nomination papers, they said.

As many as 78 candidates are from national parties, 30 from state parties and 90 are contesting as Independent candidates for 41 wards of the three local urban bodies, they said.

On last day, 120 candidates filed their nominations in Doda district of which 59 belonged to national parties, two to state parties and 59 were contesting as Independents, they said.

In Ramban, 74 candidates have filed their nominations for the ULB polls of which 39 belong to national parties, two to state parties and 33 were contesting as Independents, they said.

Earlier, Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh said local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be of historic significance in many ways and will help re-establish the long overdue grassroots’ democracy.

On Wednesday BJP had said that they are determined to contest the upcoming Municipal polls from each and every ward of Kashmir, saying that those who boycotted the elections did injustice with people of Kashmir.

The State Congress on Thursday said that over 550 candidates of the party have filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir. He added that in Kashmir region, barring some sensitive areas, the congress candidates from each and every ward will be filing their nomination papers for the polls.

Both the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, the two biggest regional political outfits have decided to boycott the elections as they have asked the Government of India to clear its stand on the issue of Article 35-A.

Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh recently  appealed political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the upcoming Panchayat and local body polls.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also decided not to participate in the polls keeping in view the prevailing situation in the valley.

State Secretary CPI(M) Ghulam Nabi Malik, in a statement said that despite majority of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir deciding not to participate in these polls shows the arrogance of the BJP-led Central Government.

The Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL) while reiterating their call of ULB, Panchayat polls said that  it is a “political gimmick to hoodwink international community”.

Congress, however decided to take part in the polls to keep ‘communal forces away.’

Moreover Sajad Lone’s Poeples Conference has also decided to take part in the upcoming civic polls.

The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the regional political parties have boycotted the upcoming Municipal and Panchayat elections due to fear, and added that they have apprehensions that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National conference (NC) will field proxy candidates in the polls.

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