The Jammu and Kashmir municipal elections will be held from 8 October, the state's Chief Election Officer Shaleen Kabra announced on Saturday. The local body polls will be held in four phases.
With the announcement of the dates, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in Jammu and Kashmir, Kabra said.
Kabra further said, "We shall be starting the local bodies elections for municipal bodies first and then the panchayat elections...The municipal elections will be four-phased and they will be held on party-basis," he told reporters.
He said that for the first time, electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the local body polls while migrant voters will be able to vote through postal ballot.
Kabra said the notification for the first phase will be issued on 18 September.
"The last date for filing nominations for the phase will be 25 September while the date of withdrawal of nominations will be 28 September. The date of poll for the first phase will be 8 October," the CEO said.
He said the notification for the second phase will be issued on 20 September and the last date for making nominations for the phase will be 27 September.
"The date of withdrawal of nominations will be 1 October and the date of poll for the second phase will be 10 October," Kabra said.
For the third phase, the chief electoral officer said, notifications will be issued on 22 September and the last date for filling nominations for the phase will be 29 September.
"The date of withdrawal of nominations will be 3 October and the date of poll for the third phase will be 13 October," he said.
He said for the last phase, the notification will be issued on 24 September and candidates can submit their nominations till 1 October.
The candidature can be withdrawn by 5 October and the voting will take place on 16 October.
The poll hours for all the phases would be from 7 am to 2 pm, he said, adding the date of counting for all the phases will be October 20.
The polls are under a cloud of controversy as two major political parties — the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) — have announced that they will boycott them. Both parties have asked the Centre to clarify its stand on Article 35A of the Constitution, which allows the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the 'permanent residents' of the state.
The Congress has also said that currently, the ground situation in the Valley is not conducive for holding these polls.
On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had denied reports that the upcoming municipal elections are likely to be deferred.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 15, 2018 19:28 PM