Campaigning ends for J&K BDC polls: Over 3,300 voters to decide fate of 520 candidates

SRINAGAR: With the end of campaigning on Tuesday, the stage is set for the first-ever Block Development Council (BDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The BDC polls are slated to be held on Thursday when over 3,300 sarpanchs and panchs will cast their votes to elect 310 out of a total 520 candidates in fray. The election results will be declared the same day.
Out of the 3,300 sarpanchs and panchs, who will exercise their franchise, BJP claims the support of 1,500. Official sources said that 27 candidates, 22 of whom are affiliated to BJP, would be elected unopposed.
Many political parties — including Congress, National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC) — have boycotted BDC polls, citing continuous detention of their respective party leadership following defanging of Article 370 on August 5. Both NC and PDP had also stayed away from panchayat as well as municipal polls last year. These parties have been alleging that BDC polls are being conducted to ensure the victory of BJP.
Election officials said adequate security arrangements have been put in place. “We have made tight security arrangements to ensure smooth conduct of BDC polls,” an official said.
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