Jammu: The Election Commission today issued notification for the first of the five phases of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls. In the first phase due on November 25, polls will be held in 15 Assembly segments spread across seven districts of Bandipora, Ganderbal in Kashmir Valley, Kargil, Leh of Ladakh region, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban of Jammu region.
"As recommended by ECI in pursuance of Sub-section (2) of Section 27 of the said Act, the Governor of the State of J&K is hereby pleased to call upon the 15 Assembly constituencies in the State, to elect members to the Legislative Assembly in accordance with the provision of Act," J&K Chief ElectoralOfficer (CEO) Umang Narula said in the notification.
The last date for candidates to file their nominations is November 5. The scrutiny of nomination papers would be held on November 7 while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is on November 10, J&K Deputy CEO, Rakesh Kumar Srangal said.
He further stated that the date of counting of votes has been fixed for 23 December this year. "ECI has fixed 0800 hours to 1600 hours as hours during
which the poll shall, be taken in each constituency on the specified date," Srangal said.
The EC on Saturday decided to go ahead with holding Assembly polls in the state devastated by last month's floods and announced a five-phased election schedule to be held on November 25, December 2, 9, 14 and 20.
The State Government has sought 565 companies of security personnel to ensure smooth elections. In the first phase, the Assembly constituencies of Gurez,
Bandipora, Sonawari, Kangan, Ganderbal, Nobra, Leh, Kargil, Zanskar, Kishtwar, Inderwal, Doda, Bhaderwah, Ramban and Banihal.
Congress and NC had bagged seven seats each while PDP took one seat in 2008 Assembly polls. Nine each assembly seats in Kashmir and Jammu regions will
be going to polls in the second phase on December two. Of these, maximum of six are in Udhampur, five in Baramulla, four in Anantnag and three in Jammu.
The notification for the second phase will be issued on November seven with date of polling December two. The third phase, for which polling will be held on
December 9, will cover remaining seven seats of Baramulla Parliamentary constituency, five seats in Budgam of central
Kashmir and four from Anantnag.
The current six-year term of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly ends on January 19. Political parties too have started gearing up for the elections.
The fourth phase, for which notification will be issued on November 19 and polling held on December 14, will cover nine Assembly seats of prestigious Srinagar city, seven remaining seats of Anantnag and two from Jammu parliamentary seat.
Five seats of Udhampur Parliamentary seat and 15 of Jammu area, covering the nine Assembly seats of Jammu city, will go to polls in the fifth and final phase on December 20.
Ruling out any pre-poll alliance in the state, BJP yesterday said it will contest in all the 87 constituencies in the elections.
"We won't be entering into any pre-poll alliance with any political party as we are considering to field our candidates on all the 87 assembly constituencies in the state," BJP MP and party in charge for J&K Avinash Rai Khanna said, adding they would soon come out with its first list of candidates.
The Congress' state unit yesterday said they too will announce its poll candidates soon. "The candidates would be announced within a couple of days. We are working on it," Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Prof Saif-uddin-Soz said.
The leader, however, refused to comment on whether the party will enter into an alliance.