Urban local bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted in four phases starting October 8, state election commission said Saturday.
With the announcement, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said, “We shall be starting the local bodies elections for municipal bodies first and then the panchayat elections.
“The municipal elections will be four phased and it will be held on party-basis,” he told reporters here.
He said for the first time electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the local bodies polls while migrant voters will be able to vote through postal ballot.
Kabra said the notification for the first phase will be issued on September 18.
“The last date for filing nominations for the phase will be September 25 while the date of withdrawal of nominations will be September 28. The date of poll for the first phase will be October 8,” the CEO said.
He said the notification for the second phase will be issued on September 20 and the last date for making nominations for the phase will be September 27.
“The date of withdrawal of nominations will be October 1 and the date of poll for the second phase will be October 10,” Kabra said.
For the third phase, the chief electoral officer said, notifications will be issued on September 22 and the last date for filling nominations for the phase will be September 29.
“The date of withdrawal of nominations will be October 3 and the date of poll for the third phase will be October 13,” he said.
He said for the last phase, the notification will be issued on September 24 and candidates can submit their nominations till October 1.
The candidature can be withdrawn by October 5 and the voting will take place on October 16.
The poll hours for all the phases would be from 7 am to 2 pm, he said, adding the date of counting for all the phases will be October 20.
“With the announcement of this schedule, the Model Code of Conduct comes into place and I expect the candidates and political parties to follow it fully,” he said.
Kabra said the state has 79 municipal bodies, including the two corporations for the twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
“There are 1,145 wards in these 79 bodies which have an electoral strength of 16,9,721,” he said.
The CEO said among the 1,145 wards, 90 have been reserved for Scheduled Castes and 38 for Scheduled Tribes, which includes 31 and 13 wards for SC and ST women respectively.
In addition, 322 wards have been reserved for women belonging to open category.
The CEO said the announcement for the schedule of panchayat elections will be done separately.