Campaigning for first round of Kashmir polls ends

November 15th, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 15 (IANS) As campaigning for the first phase of the Jammu and Kashmir elections ended Saturday evening, the authorities started computerised selection of the polling staff to be deployed in 10 constituencies for Monday’s balloting.This process has been introduced for the first time in the Kashmir elections.

“Through this process, poll staff is allotted to a specific polling station on the basis of computerised randomization without any human interference,” an election officer said here.

“This is a measure to ensure free and fair polls and to ensure posting of non-partisan poll staff for duties.”

Besides this, the official said, comprehensive video recording and still photography would be done of all the election related proceedings during the voting process.

Voting in 10 constituencies of the Bandipora, Ladakh, Kargil and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir will be held Monday. There are a record 102 candidates in the fray for the first round of the polls.

Of the 10 constituencies, there are 58,073 voters in Kargil, 62,533 in Leh, 20,044 in Zanskar, 11,863 in Nobra, 84,726 in Sonawari, 86,306 in Bandipora, 15,330 in Gurez, 84,969 in Surankote, 77,853 in Mendhar and 96,758 voters in Poonch-Haveli.

Former deputy speaker and National Conference leader Mohammad Akbar Lone and sitting Lok Sabha member Thupstan Chhewang are among the candidates whose political fortunes will be decided Monday.

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