Jammu, Dec 2: Arrangements, including security and other measures, are in place for elections Monday for four seats to the state Legislative Council from the panchayat quota, being held in Jammu and Kashmir after 38 years.
The contest is set to be multi-cornered with all political parties fielding their candidates and coalition partners National Conference (NC) and the Congress contesting two seats each.
The opposition parties — including Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Panthers Party (PP) — have fielded candidates on all four seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting three seats — two in Jammu region and one in Kashmir valley.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has also fielded three candidates.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu Zone Dilbagh Singh told IANS that seven companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 17 companies of state armed and regular police will monitor security in Jammu region during polling Monday.
“Police is mostly deployed for polling duty while the CRPF and police will jointly look after law and order,” Singh said.
He added that electronic voting machines have reached polling stations.
“The polling tomorrow (Monday) is a limited exercise as only panches and sarpanches are voting, but the activity is widespread,” Singh said.
Of the 36 seats in the legislative council, four from the panchayat quota and two from local bodies, are lying vacant.
The electorate for the council polls comprises 33,540 elected panches and sarpanches (village council members and heads), with 15,628 in Jammu region and 17,912 in the Kashmir Valley. Votes would be cast through electronic voting machines (EVM) at 286 polling booths. Votes would be counted Dec 6.
The elections are seen as an acid test in the run up to the 2014 assembly elections in the state.
The last panchayat quota legislative council elections were held in 1974.