Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Elections: State Registers 18% Voting Till 11 am During First Phase of Polls
They said polling will be held in six districts of the Kashmir Valley, two in Ladakh and seven districts in the Jammu region.
File photo of elections in Jammu and Kashmir. (Reuters)
Srinagar: Moderate polling was witnessed in the early hours of the first phase of panchayat election in Kashmir Valley on Saturday as nearly 18% of voters exercised their franchise till 11 AM.
"A total of 18.5 per cent of the electorate cast their votes at 283 polling locations across the valley till 11 AM," an official said. Polling is underway in Srinagar, Ganderbal, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Handwara, Bandipora, Sopore, Leh and Kargil districts.
They said 12,104 votes were polled in the first two hours of the poll conducted in 16 blocks in six districts of the valley. The officials said the total number of electorate in these polling stations is 1,35,774.
In 10 blocks of Ladakh region having 130 polling locations, the officials said 1,001 votes were polled in the first two hours. The total electorate in these polling stations is 25,906 and the voting percentage till 10 AM is 3.9 per cent.
The total voting percentage in Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, at 10 AM is 8.1 per cent, the officials said. Voting began at 8 AM at 3,296 polling stations — 1,303 in Kashmir and 1,993 in Jammu — and would end at 2 PM, officials said
Official said 427 candidates are in the fray for 536 Sarpanch Halqas and 5,951 candidates for 4,048 Panch wards.
The officials said 170 candidates are in the fray for 64 Sarpanch Halqas and 762 for 498 Panch wards in Kupwara district, while 21 candidates for 20 Sarpanch Halqas and 81 for 146 Panch wards in Bandipora district. In Baramulla district, 148 candidates are in the fray for 63 Sarpanch Halqas and 630 for 497 Panch wards.
Eleven candidates for 15 Sarpanch Halqas and 21 for 105 Panch wards in Ganderbal district, six candidates for five Sarpanch Halqas and nine for 45 Panch wards in Srinagar and 35 candidates for 26 Sarpanch Halqas and 124 for 222 Panch wards in Budgam district are contesting the polls in the first phase.
In Kargil, 51 candidates for 23 Sarpanch Halqas and 225 for 179 Panch wards, while in Leh, 64 candidates for 32 Sarpanch Halqas and 207 for 226 Panch wards are in the fray, the officials said.
In Kishtwar district, 107 candidates for 50 Sarpanch Halqas and 494 for 358 Panch wards are in the fray, the officials said, adding that 190 candidates for 52 Sarpanch Halqas and 626 for 364 Panch wards are in the fray in Doda district.
The officials said 89 candidates for 27 Sarpanch Halqas and 337 for 195 Panch wards in Ramban district and 162 candidates for 42 Sarpanch Halqas and 779 for 332 Panch wards in Udhampur district are contesting the polls.
In Kathua district, 114 candidates are in the fray for 29 Sarpanch Halqas and 450 for 209 Panch wards, while 121 candidates for 35 Sarpanch Halqas and 469 for 253 Panch wards in Rajouri district.
The officials said 162 candidates for 53 Sarpanch Halqas and 736 for 419 Panch wards in Poonch district are contesting the polls.
While the polls are being conducted on the non-party basis, the NC, PDP and the CPI(M) have announced to stay away from the electoral exercise due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
The NC and the PDP have asked the Centre to make its stand clear in the apex court on the constitutional provision and urged it to defend its continuation in the court. They had also boycotted the municipal polls which were conducted last month. While separatists have called for a boycott of the polls, militants have threatened to target anyone taking part in these elections.
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