Polling for the first phase of panchayat election in Jammu and Kashmir began Saturday hs made strong security arrangements.
Voting began at 8 am at 3,296 polling stations — 1,303 in Kashmir and 1,993 in Jammu — and would end at 2 pm, officials said.
They said 687 polling stations have been categorized as “hypersensitive”, including 491 in Kashmir division and 196 in Jammu division.
The officials said that in the first phase polling, 85 Sarpanches and 1,676 panches have been elected unopposed while voting is taking place on the remaining 420 Sarpanches and 1,845 panch seats, for which 5,585 candidates are in the fray.
They said there are 4,45,059 electors for sarpanch seats and 2,72,792 for panch constituencies.
All necessary arrangements are in place for the smooth conduct of the polls, the officials said, adding massive security arrangements, including the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), have been made to ensure a peaceful election.
The government has declared a holiday on the day of poll in the panchayat areas where polls are taking place so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.
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