Amid tight security, polling in the first phase of the four-phase municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir commenced at 7 am on Monday. In the first phase, polling will take place in 422 wards. Polling will take place in three municipal corporation wards in Srinagar city, municipal committees of Achabal, Bandipora, Baramulla, Badgam, Chadoora, Devsar, Handwara, Khansahib, Kokernag, Kupwara, Kulgam and Qazigund in Kashmir, Leh and Kargil in the Ladakh region.
In the Jammu region, polling will take place for municipal committees of Akhnoor, Arnia, Bishnah, Jurian, Kalakote, Khour, Nowshera, Poonch, RS Pura, Rajouri, Sunderbani, Surankote and Thanamandi. In addition, voting will also be held in wards of Jammu municipal corporation.
Mobile Internet services have been suspended in South Kashmir. Mobile Internet speed has been reduced to 2G in other parts of the Valley.
#12:29 pm: Voter turnout recorded till 11 am in the first phase of local body elections in 11 districts - Anantnag- five per cent, Budgam- three per cent, Bandipora- two per cent, Baramulla- three per cent, Jammu-34 per cent, Kargil-33 per cent, Kupwara-18 per cent, Leh-26 per cent, Poonch-47 per cent, Rajouri-55 per cent and Srinagar- 3.50 per cent.
#10:58 am: Union Minister Jitendra Singh and former Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta cast their votes in Jammu during the first phase of local body elections.
#10:15 am: Heavy security deployed at a polling booth in Baramulla as voting for local body elections is underway.
#9:30 am: Voting for municipal body elections underway at a polling booth in Bandipora.
#8:19 am: People queue outside a polling booth in Rajouri to cast their votes in the first phase of urban local body elections being conducted after 13 years.
#8.07am: People queue outside a polling booth in Gorakh Nagar to cast their votes in the first phase of urban local body elections.
#7:55 am: Voting for urban local bodies underway at a polling booth in Gandhi Nagar's Ward no. 2, in Jammu district.
#7:35 am: Voting begins in districts of Anantnag-4 wards, Budgam-1 ward, Bandipore-16 wards, Baramulla-15, Jammu-153, Kargil-13, Kupwara-18, Leh-13, Poonch-26, Rajouri-59 & Srinagar-3 wards, in the first of the four phases of urban local bodies elections:Visuals from Budgam's Ward no 5.
J&K:Voting begins in districts of Anantnag-4 wards, Budgam-1 ward, Bandipore-16 wards, Baramulla-15, Jammu-153, Kargil-13, Kupwara-18, Leh-13, Poonch-26, Rajouri-59 & Srinagar-3 wards, in the first of the four phases of urban local bodies elections:Visuals from Budgam's Ward no 5 pic.twitter.com/Nfc12xr58n— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2018
#7:20 am: Voting begins in 11 districts in the first of the four phases of urban local bodies elections; Visuals from Ward no. 48 in Jammu.
#7:10 am: Voting begins for 422 of the 1,145 wards in the first of the four phases of urban local bodies elections.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put up for the peaceful conduct of elections. An official told PTI that security forces have set up many check-points to monitor suspicious movement. Inspector General of CRPF, Kashmir, Ravideep Singh Sahi said the officials are on their toes and that situation in Kashmir is under control. He said that several attempts have been made by the security personnel to instil a sense of security among locals.
A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1,145 wards. The next phases take place on 10th, 13th and 16th October.
National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and CPI(M) have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in municipal areas going to polls so as to enable voters to cast their vote.