For the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir, the union territory is going to the polls on Saturday. Apart from being the first election since August 5, 2019, what makes these elections stand out is the formation of the Gupkar alliance ahead of the elections and the exchange of barbs between Gupkar leaders and BJP leaders ahead of the election.
National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Communist Party of India (M), Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference, Peoples Movement, Awami National Conference came together to form an alliance with Farooq Abdullah as the president and Mehbooba Mufti the vice president of the coalition.
The BJP has slammed the coalition as anti-national and questioned the Congress on its stand regarding the agenda of the alliance. The Congress distanced itself from the alliance and said it is not part of it.
Here is all you need to know about the District Development Council election:
1. The election will be held in eight phases starting from today. It will go on till December 19.
2. The counting will take place on December 22.
3. As many as 1,427 candidates are in the fray and over seven lakh voters are eligible for voting.
4. Out of 7 lakh voters, more than 3.72 lakh are from the Kashmir division and 3.28 lakh are from the Jammu division.
5. 2,146 polling stations have been set up.
6. In phase 1, there are 296 candidates in he fray including 207 men and 89 women.
7. The contest is among the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, the BJP and the Apni Party floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.
8. There are 280 DDC seats in the union territory - 140 each in Jammu and Kashmir regions. 43 constituencies will go to polls in the first phase -- 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu.
7. For the by-elections to panchayats, 899 candidates were in the fray for the Panch seats and 280 for the sarpanch seats.
8. 145 companies of central armed police forces have been deployed in the UT for smooth conduction of the elections.
9. These elections are to be held using ballot papers.