Third phase of ULB polls begins
Srinagar: The third phase of polling for civic polls in Kashmir has begun here this morning. The third phase involves polling in most city areas like Khanqah-e-Mualla, Maharajgunj, Jamia Masjid, Makhdoom Sahib, Khwaja Bazaar, Aqilmir Khanyar, Rozabal, Daulatabad, Islamyarbal, Nawab Bazaar, Nawa Kadal, Safakadal, Rathpora, Edigah, Palpora and Tarabal.
Officials however, are seeing little hope of any change in the trend of low voter turnout in the Valley as most of the wards fall in the separatist hotbed of downtown city and south Kashmir.
Of the 44 wards going to polls on Saturday, 20 fall in Srinagar city’s downtown area, where the voter turnout has been generally low since the eruption of militancy in the state in 1989.
Ten other wards in the civil lines area of the city, where polling will be held on Saturday, are Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Ikhrajpora, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Chanapora, Budshah Nagar, Baghat Barzulla, Hyderpora and Rawalpora.
The voter turnout, however, is expected to be high in 13 wards in the Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, which has traditionally been a high polling area. A similar trend might be seen in nine wards in the Mattan area of Anantnag district, which has a significant Kashmiri migrant population.
Although 207 wards in the state were scheduled to go to polls in the third phase, polling will be held only in 100 wards — 56 in Samba district in Jammu division and 44 in the Valley.
Meanwhile, 365 candidates are in the fray for 96 wards of 8 Urban Local Bodies for the 3rd Phase comprising a total electorate of 193990 electors.