The fifth phase of panch and sarpanch bye-elections in Jammu and Kashmir recorded 59.90 per cent and 52.43 per cent voter turnout respectively, State Election Commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma said on Friday. The third phase of the panchayat bypolls was held along with the District Development Council (DDC) elections on Thursday.
Bypolls for vacant panch seats were held in 229 constituencies in this phase. Out of a total of 42,504 electors (22,140 men and 20,364 women), 25,460 cast their votes. Polling was held from 7 am to 2 pm, he added. The SEC said Jammu division recorded 77.52 per cent voter turnout, while Kashmir division recorded 58.35 per cent in the fifth phase of the panch by-elections.
Similarly, 52.43 per cent voting was registered the bye-elections for vacant sarpanch seats in 125 constituencies in the UT, Sharma said, adding that out of 88,078 electors (45,766 men and 42,312 women), 46,179 exercised their franchise. He further said 75.84 per cent polling was registered in Jammu division, whereas 42.85 per cent polling was recorded in Kashmir division.
The SEC said that in Jammu division, Doda district recorded the highest voter turnout of 90.83 per cent in the panch bypoll followed by Reasi with 88.51 per cent and Poonch with 84.09 per cent. Similarly, Budgam district topped with 69 per cent voter turnout in Kashmir division followed by Kupwara with 66.82 per cent and Bandipora with 64.91 per cent, he added. Sharma said that in sarpanch by-polls, Kupwara recorded the highest voter turnout of 84.24 per cent in Kashmir division followed by Bandipora with 71.60 per cent and Budgam with 55.78 per cent. Besides, Jammu topped the polling percentage with 81.13 per cent in Jammu division followed by Poonch with 80.37 per cent and Reasi with 79.78 per cent, he informed.
The SEC also said that polling was held at 271 polling stations for sarpanch bypolls and at 229 polling stations for panch bypolls. Giving an overview of the polling process, he said it was peaceful and smooth across the region.