LAHORE - Long awaited Local Bodies election will be held in 12 Punjab and eight Sindh districts in the first of the three phases on Saturday (today). It is a local holiday in the election districts.

Local bodies’ elections will be held on political basis wherein all major political parties including PML-N, PTI, PPP, MQM, JI, JUI-F, PML-F, PML-Q and JUP-N are taking part in addition to a huge number of independent candidates.

In Punjab as many as 20.12million registered voters, both male and female, will exercise their right to franchise in Lahore, Kasur, Faisalabad, Okrara, Gujrat, Chakwal, Nankana Sahib, Pakpattan, Vehari, Lodhran, Bahawalnagar and Bhukkar.

As many as 58 lakh registered voters will elect their local representatives in Larkana, Sukkar, Khairpur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, and Kambar districts of Sindh.

Election in Balochistan and Khyber PK have already been held while process in the entire country for directly electing the representatives will complete on December 5 with third phase of LB polls in Punjab and Sindh. Since October 2009 election at the grass root did not take place and are now being held on the insistence of the Supreme Court.

Polling in the said 20 districts will start at 7:30am and continue till 5:30pm. For casting vote, production of computerised ID card will be mandatory. Every voter in Punjab will get blue colour ballot paper for voting Chairman and Vice Chairman and white colour for General Councilor and Municipal Committee candidates.

In Sindh green colour ballot paper will be for Chairman and Vice Chairman, off-white for general councilor and blue for District Council/Municipal Committee/Town Committee candidates.

In Punjab 73 percent and Sindh 65 percent polling stations have been declared sensitive or highly sensitive. Army, Rangers and Quick Response Force will help the police maintain peace inside and outside the sensitive polling stations. Election Commission has set up a central control room in Islamabad to monitor the election.

In Punjab over 40,000 candidates are in the field. 16 candidates for Chairman and Vice have been elected unopposed while 6,360 candidates are in the run. For the general councilor seats, 758 have been elected unopposed and while 33,794 are in the race.

In Sindh 707 have been elected unopposed and over 14,500 are in the run.

In 12 districts of Punjab 16,266 polling stations (PSs) have set up, of them, 3,551 are highly sensitive (HS) and 8,300 sensitive.

For 274 Union Council (UCs) of Metropolitan Lahore there are 4,343,329 registered voters. The city has 3,269 PSs of which 839 are HS and 2,430 sensitive and no normal.

For Municipal Corporation Faisalabad the number of USc is 157 and for Municipal Council 189. The voters strength is 3,944,572 with 3915 PSs; 1,029 HS and 2,877 sensitive.

There are 1,726,850 voters for 117 UCs of District Council Gujrat and 12 UCs Municipal Corporation, with 1,250 PSs; 182 HS and 1,050 sensitive.

For 71 UCs of Chakwal, voters are 109,947 with 823 PSs of which; 265 HS and 558 sensitive. For 64UCs of Bhakkar, voters strength is 76,5173 with 591 PSs, 53HS and160 sensitive.

For 125 US of Kasur are 1,614,042 voters with 1,250 PSs; 265HS and 224 sensitive. For 64 UCs of Nankana Sahib, number of voters is 676,612 with 607 PSs; 125HS and 131 sensitive.

For 54 Pakpattan UCs voters are 898,144 with 683 PSs; 250HS and 224 sensitive. For 140 UCs of Okara, voters strength is 1,507,246, with 1,115 PSs; 99HS and 1,015 sensitive. For 105 UC of Lodhran, voters are 817,446 with 576 PSs, 121HS.

Bahawalnagar with 135 UC has 1,387,865 voters and 1,102PSs, 49HS and 94 sensitive. Vehari with 105 UCs has 1,439,695 voters, and 1,085PSs; 274 HS and 811 sensitive.

In the Punjab districts tough fight is expected between PML-N and the PTI while PPP, PML-F and the MQM putting up strong contest Sindh.

In Lahore the ruling PML-N has fielded candidate on 263 Union Council seats and PTI on 266. Including two ex-MPAs, Arif Hameed Butt, a cousin of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is also in the field