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Nine phased panchayat polls began in Jammu and Kashmir from today under amid tight security. In the first phase, around 47 blocks would go for the polls, out of which 16 blocks are from Kashmir, 21 from Jammu and 10 from Ladakh region.

Meanwhile, Mainstream parties like the National Conference (NC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Communist Party of India (CPIM) and other small parties have decided to stay away from the electoral process. Besides that, the separatists, as well as the militant organizations, have also asked people to refrain from participating in the polls. The boycott call from mainstream parties comes after New Delhi’s “ambiguous” stand on the Article 35A, which has been challenged by the right-wing groups in the Supreme Court.

The areas going to polls in Kashmir on saturday are: Keran, Ramhal, Tarathpora, Teetwal and Tangdar in Kupwara; Gurez, Baktoor and Tulail in Bandipora; Kunzer, Uri, Parenpillan, Noorkah and Kandi-Belt Rafiabad in Baramulla; Gund in Ganderbal; Khanmoh in Srinagar and Khansahib in Budgam district. In Jammu province, the election will be held in Dachhan, Bunjwah, Marwah, Padder and Warwan in Kishtwar district; Bhalllessa, Changa, Jakyas and Chilli Pingal in Doda; Ramsoo and Khari in Ramban; Dudu Basantgarh, Latti Marothi, Panchari and Moungri in Udhampur; Bani and Duggan in Kathua; Manjakote and Panjgrain in Rajouri and Buffiaz and Surankote in Poonch. The blocks going to polls in Ladakh region are Drass, Langnak, Barsoo, Tai Suru, Durbuk, Singay Lalok, Khanu, Nyoma, Rong and Rupsho.

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