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Panchayat Polls first in JK since 33 years: Omar

Bureau Report
Agence India Press
April 13, 2011
Terming the Panchayat Polls, which began today as first in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 33 years, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the one held in 2000 was only on paper.
After the first round of the 16-phase panchayat elections began Wednesday. JK Chief Minister tweeted: ‘In reality this is 1st Panchayat polls after 33 years. The one held in 2000 was only on papers. More than 1/2 of seats remained empty,” ‘
Those polls were held when his father Farooq Abdullah was the chief minister. At many places in the valley, people had not exercised their franchise. Election for six legislative council seats also got under way Wednesday amid fears of cross voting.
While as the government claims that these Panchayat polls are held on non-party basis, on the ground NC, PDP, Congress and BJP have fielded their workers as Independent candidates. Ministers, assembly members and senior leaders of different political parties are campaigning for their respective candidates in remote areas.
The second phase of polling will be held on April 17, third phase on April 21, fourth phase on April 25, fifth phase on April 30, sixth phase on May 4, seventh on May 8, eighth on May 12, ninth on May 16 and the 10th to 16th phases will be held on May 21, May 25, May 29, June 2, June 6, June 11 and June 18 respectively. (AIP
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