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States » North

First District Development Council polls in J&K on Dec 1

First District Development Council polls in J&K on Dec 1

Srinagar, Nov 7 (UNI) The first District Development Council elections will be held in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on December 1 and be completed by December 24.
In a notification issued here on Friday night, the J&K election commission said that the last date for filling the nominations would be November 16 while the scrutiny be held on November 17. “The candidates can withdraw from the poll till November 19,” it said.
It further said that the polling will be held on December 1 from 0700 hrs to 1400 hrs. Voting for panchayats to fill vacancies for sarpanch and panch will be held simultaneously. “The counting for the rest will be done on December 22 and elections would be completed on December 24,” the notification added.
The DDC elections will be held in eight phases for which polling will take place through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) while as postal ballots will be available for Covid-19 patients in isolation, senior citizens and physically unwell patients.
State Election Commissioner K K Sharma earlier this week said that electoral rolls used in Sarpanch and Panch elections that have been updated on January 1, 2020, will be used for the DDC polls.
“The term of the DDC will be for five years. The West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) will also be entitled to exercise their right to vote for the first time," he said.
“Each DDC in J&K has 14 constituencies,” Mr Sharma had said, adding that while conducting the elections, Covid-19 protocol will be followed in spirit.
He had said that polls will also be held subsequently for 228 vacant seats of ULBs.
The State Election Commission said that after taking the feedback from various security agencies, a proper security mechanism will remain in place and “all concerns have been taken into consideration.”

He said that expenditure limit for the DDC polls per candidate is Rs 5 lakh, one lakh for Sarpanch seat and Rs 50,000 for Panch seat.
The Centre on October 17 amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, for holding direct elections for DDCs.
Under the new rules, each district will be divided into 14 territorial constituencies by the respective deputy commissioners for electing their representatives, who will then among themselves elect the chairman and vice-chairman of these councils.
The councils will replace District Development Boards, which in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir were chaired by a Cabinet minister or a minister of state and included MLAs, MLCs and MPs.

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