|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Oct 13: With most of the political parties -- including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress -- boycotting the Block Development Council (BDC) elections in the state, only 397 candidates are in fray for the polls in Kashmir valley scheduled from October 24.
Meanwhile, the number of independent candidates is very high as compared to candidates representing political parties due to the boycott of election by most mainstream parties in protest against detention of hundreds of political workers and politicians, including three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
An official said that after withdrawal of nomination papers, as many as 397 candidates are in fray in Kashmir division. ''The highest 101 candidates will try their luck in Kupwara district while the lowest 5 each will contest from Srinagar and Shopian districts respectively,'' he said.
He said 90 candidates are in fray from Baramulla, 26 in Bandipora, 28 in Ganderbal and 58 in Budgam. ''As many as 11 candidates will try their luck in Pulwama, 18 in Kulgam and 55 in Anantnag,'' he added.
He said in total 1,065 candidates are in fray for BSC polls in Jammu and Kashmir after the final withdrawal of nomination papers. ''Most of the 27 candidates, who have been elected unopposed as chairpersons, are from Kashmir,'' he added.
The official said of the 1,065 candidates, 853 candidates are independent and 239 are from different political parties. ''All the arrangements for the smooth conduct of the BDC polls have been finalized,'' he added.
He said there are 316 blocks in the state of which two are without elected panches or Sarpanches, besides four blocks have been reserved for women candidates though there are no women candidates thus the polls will be held in 310 blocks. ''For smooth conduct of elections, there shall be one polling station for one BDC,'' he added.