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Fourth phase of panchayat polls to be held today

Fourth phase of panchayat polls to be held today
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Jammu: Polling for the fourth phase of panchayat election will be held on today at 2,618 polling stations across Jammu and Kashmir, state chief electoral officer Shaleen Kabra said.
Voting will begin at 8 am and end at 2 pm in 639 polling stations in Kashmir and 1,979 in Jammu division, Kabra said.
According to the CEO, 777 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive in fourth phase including 571 in Kashmir and 206 in Jammu.
He said 5470 candidates were in the fray for 339 Sarpanch and 1749 Panch seats in Phase-IV, while 99 Sarpanchs and 969 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this Phase.
In the areas going to polls in fourth Phase, electorate of 4,72,160 will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies, while 3,32,502 will be voting for Panch constituencies.
Kabra said in the first phase of Panchayat Polls held on November 17, 74.1 per cent polling was recorded across the state including 64.5 per cent in Kashmir and 79.4 per cent in Jammu.
In the second phase held on November 20, 71.1 per cent polling was witnessed in the state with an overwhelming 80.4 per cent polling in Jammu and 52.2 per cent in Kashmir.
In the third phase, the state witnessed a polling percentage of 75.2 per cent which included 55.7 per cent in Kashmir and 83 per cent in Jammu division.
Kabra further said orders had been passed in various complaint cases as well as directions of the courts and notifications reappointing the election schedules too had been issued.
He said senior government officers were appointed as general observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of the elections, while expenditure of the candidates was being observed closely as well.
Control Rooms had been established in all the districts across the state to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct as also to disseminate information to the public, he said.
Security arrangements have been made including deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), he said, adding that the government had declared a holiday in the areas that will vote on Tuesday.
As per standing guidelines, the Central government offices shall not be closed but the employees who are electors of the poll-going wards and desire to exercise their franchise shall be offered reasonable facility to do so, he said.

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