What lies in store for Kashmir in 2020 summer, peace or discontent?. Image Source: IANS News

Srinagar, Nov 23 : State Election Commissioner (SEC) of Jammu and Kashmir, K.K. Sharma, said on Monday that preparations are in advance stage for the smooth and hassle-free conduct of the 8-phase DDC elections, and ULB and panchayat bypolls in the Union Territory.

Addressing a presser here, Sharma said that all resources have been deployed to ensure safe and secure elections in all the 10 districts of the UT.

The SEC said that adequate security arrangements are being put in place and deployment of additional 165 CAPF companies is being ensured for maintaining peaceful law and order situation, area domination, security of candidates and polling booths for an incident free polls in Kashmir. He said that keeping the weather conditions in mind, most of the vulnerable areas have been taken up for polls in Phase I.

Sharma said that snow clearance machinery and required manpower has been kept ready in all the snow-bound areas for hassle-free conduct of elections. He said that general observers and expenditure observers have been designated for all the districts to keep a check on the expenditure process by the contesting candidates.

Terming the DDC polls as historic, the SEC said that these elections being held for the first time are important for the development and strengthening of the democratic set up of the UT. He said that all DCs and SSPs have been instructed to ensure comfortable campaigning of all candidates besides providing them adequate security arrangements during their visits to their areas.

He said that putting up candidates in cluster accommodations is for their safety and it doesn't mean that they are being prevented from campaigning. He said the poll panel believes in providing equal opportunities to every contesting candidate.

The SEC said that all arrangements are being put in place to ensure that the polls are conducted in free and fair manner.

Emphasising on providing adequate security arrangements to all the participating candidates, the SEC instructed the DCs to ensure proper transport arrangements, heating facilities and other related arrangements for the polling staff for their comfortable stay and smooth to and fro movement during the election process.

He said the DDC polls, which are being held for the first time in the UT, are important for the development of all the districts.

Special arrangements for postal ballots are being made for various categories of people, including senior citizens and Covid patients.

The SEC took a district wise review about the arrangements being made regarding elections like printing of ballot papers, migrant postal ballots, absentee voters, dispatching of materials, finalisation of polling staff, setting up of control rooms, media centres, poll day arrangements, communication plans, details of canvassing candidates, uncontested candidates, constituencies and Covid related arrangements.

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