Kashmir sees 17.3% voting

The turnout in the panchayat polls in Kashmir slid to 17.3% on Saturday, while Jammu recorded a heavy 84.6% polling. “An overall poll percentage of 76.9 was witnessed across the State. A massive 84.6% polling was witnessed in Jammu division and 17.3% in Kashmir division,” Shaleen Kabra, Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir, briefed presspersons about the sixth phase of the election. Anantnag and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir, witnesses to widespread militancy and violence, recorded a dismal 7.3% and 4.6% polling, respectively. In Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar in central Kashmir, voter enthusiasm saw a dip from the past five phases when over 30% voting was recorded. “Ganderbal saw 41.5%, Srinagar 12.5% and Budgam 9%,” Mr. Kabra said. In north Kashmir, Bandipora witnessed a 35.3% polling and Baramulla 12.1%. “Jammu’s Doda registered 80.4%, Ramban 81.5%, Udhampur 88.5%, Reasi 85.6%, Kathua 84%, Samba 84.7%, Jammu 87.1%, Rajouri 83.6% and Poonch 81.8%,” he said. Nine phases in all The panchayat polls, the first since 2011 in the State, is being held in nine phases. Compared with the over 80% voting in 2011, the polling percentage in the Kashmir Valley has been less, with 64.5% in Kashmir division in the first phase, 52.2% in second, 55.7% in third, 32.3% in fourth and 33.7% in fifth. Separatists had called for a shutdown in poll-bound pockets in Kashmir. An official said no violence was reported during the polling. State Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam complimented the civil and police administration “for ensuring another phase of free, fair and peaceful polls to strengthen the democracy at the grassroot level”. A total of 771 polling stations were categorised as hypersensitive — 410 in Kashmir division and 361 in Jammu division. “A total of 7,156 candidates were in the fray for 406 sarpanch seats and 2,277 panch seats in the sixth phase. Around 111 sarpanchs and 1,048 panchs were elected unopposed in this phase,” Mr. Kabra said.

Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/kashmir-sees-173-voting/article25645738.ece

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