As many as 584 polling stations can be arrange in Jammu the place the primary part of the four-phased native physique elections will happen on eight October, officers mentioned on Saturday. A complete of 4,42,159 citizens will vote to elect their representatives amongst 743 candidates at 584 polling stations together with 505 polling stations for municipal company Jammu and 79 for municipal committees, district election officer, Ramesh Kumar advised reporters in Jammu.
Shoaib Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar from an uptown locality, mentioned individuals in his ward have no idea who the candidates are this time. The summer time capital of Jammu and Kashmir goes to vote within the first part. “Ask anybody right here in the event that they know who the candidates are. Everybody will inform you, they don’t know. There’s an excessive amount of secrecy,” Ahmad, who works in a personal firm, mentioned.
He alleged the federal government was solely fascinated by “exhibiting” that an election was held, however not with the conduct of the polls in a correct method.
Whereas 447 candidates are within the fray for the 75 wards of municipal company Jammu, 296 candidates are attempting their luck within the 79 wards of seven municipal committees. A complete of 422 wards unfold over varied districts of Jammu and Kashmir are going to polls within the first part.
A police official mentioned the prevailing scenario in Kashmir doesn’t enable candidates to marketing campaign brazenly as there’s a risk to their lives. Whereas separatists have known as for a boycott of the polls, militants have threatened to focus on individuals participating in these elections.
“The candidates have been given safety and most of them have been taken to safe areas, however the scenario is such they can’t marketing campaign. The risk will not be solely from militants, however from mobs as properly,” the official mentioned.
The complains of not understanding the candidates weren’t restricted to the town. Folks in lots of different areas of the valley expressed ignorance relating to the main points of the polls of their wards.
Ishfaq Ahmad, a resident of Ganderbal, which is voting within the final part on 16 October, mentioned such is the extent of secrecy that persons are joking that solely the candidates themselves know they’re standing within the elections.
“We don’t know who’s contesting from our ward. There was no marketing campaign or door-to-door canvassing by anybody to date. Even the federal government has not put the main points of the candidates on the election fee web site. There are merely no particulars anyplace. Solely the candidate would know that he’s contesting. Maybe, even their household doesn’t, such is the secrecy,” he mentioned.
He mentioned “the general public would boycott the polls”, however family and associates of the candidates would train their franchise.
One other potential voter right here, Khalid mentioned he was earlier enthusiastic about voting however now he believes the polls must be placed on maintain until there may be an enchancment within the scenario.
“The federal government says the scenario doesn’t allow them to supply particulars of candidates. In that case, they need to have delayed the polls until there was some enchancment. I used to be excited to vote, particularly since EVMs have been launched. Nevertheless, I don’t have important particulars for voting, so how and why will I vote?” he requested.
Aside from the secrecy relating to candidates, individuals in some areas of the town right here have no idea when to vote. “Neglect about who’s contesting, we don’t even know when is voting going down in our space,” Ghulam Qadir, a resident of Sekidafar space within the metropolis mentioned. He mentioned he has seen many elections, however “nothing like this has ever occurred”.
“Persons are clueless on the date of voting. The federal government ought to have marketed in newspapers with ballot particulars on a phase-basis. The general public right here have no idea their ward numbers. Nothing like this has ever occurred,” Qadir mentioned.
A senior Congress chief mentioned the ambiance within the state was not conducive for polls, however the occasion determined to contest after the Centre “compelled” the elections on the individuals. “That is essentially the most low profile election within the historical past of the state. We have now not seen something like this. The ambiance was not conducive for the polls, nevertheless it was thrust on us by the Centre,” he mentioned.
The Congress chief mentioned the secrecy maintained by the administration over the entire course of has solid a shadow over the train. “We have now acquired complaints of individuals not understanding who’s within the fray. See, the candidates have been taken to safe areas and just about put underneath home arrest.
“In such a scenario solely associates, family and occasion colleagues of the candidates will come out to vote and you will notice the profitable margins to be very low,” he mentioned.
With inputs from companies