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Panchayat polls began in Kashmir


April 13, 2011 - Srinagar

Polling is underway for the first phase of the multi-phased panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Eight blocks of the state include Kangan, Badgam, Qoimoh and Kupwara in the Valley and Samba, Bishna and Udhampur in Jammu region will vote in the first phase.

No electronic voting machines are being used for these elections. Ballets paper would be cast by the voters after they put stamps on the names and symbols of the candidates of their choice.

The sarpanchs for various village constituencies are also being chosen through direct elections in the Panchayat polls.

For the first time, these elections are being fought on a non-party basis, which means no mainstream political party has been allowed to field their own candidates, or interfere directly in this electoral exercise.

A high level security review has already been taken for the 4128 panchayats those go to polls across the state.

Besides taking stock of specific threat perceptions at the village levels, security personnel also deployed in all areas to assure voters and encourage them to come out and vote.

The panchayat polls are being held after the successful state assembly elections in 2008. The last panchayat elections were held in 2001.

ANI

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