Jammu-Poonch parliamentary constituency on Thursday recorded 68% polling, the highest ever in Lok Sabha elections. It was a jump of about 19% from the 2009 polls. Brisk polling was witnessed at all polling stations in 20 assembly constituencies.
"The final tally is likely to go up as data is being complied in far off places of Rajouri and Poonch districts," said chief electoral officer Umang Narula.
Peace along the borders had also contributed to increase in the polling percentage. Long queues were seen at polling booths along the international border in Jammu and Aknoor districts, which were worst affected by heavy cross border firing last year.
In Poonch and Rajouri district, where about 70% people live along Line-of-Control (LoC), voters came out quite early to cast their vote even at booths situated closed to the LoC.
The Congress has won this seat in the last two elections. BJP had won it three-time but only when NDA headed the government.
Jammu district had recorded 70% and samba 75% polling. The final tally on Rajouri and Poonch districts is to be complied late evening, though till 5 pm they had recorded 59 and 57 percentage respectively.
High voting percentage could work in favour of the BJP, especially in the Jammu city where last time only about 32 percentage polling was recorded. The BJP had a lead of 15,000 votes in three assembly constituencies of the Jammu over the Congress in 2009 elections, which had won by over one-lakh vote.
The constituency has sizeable Muslim vote in Poonch-Rajouri districts, though Brahmin is a dominant caste. It's for this reason Congress had given ticket to its sitting MP Madan Lal Sharma while BJP had fielded Jugal Kishore Sharma. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) too had fielded a Brahmin Yashpaul Sharma.
A large number of youngsters, including first-time voters, did come out in large numbers. Though they didn't tell their preference, they said they voted for a change and development.
At many places voters were seen coming till the closing hour of the polling, though the timing was not extended.
The polling ended smoothly without any untoward incident being reported, though some reports suggests of some minor clash between PDP and Congress workers in Rajouri districts.
The Election commission had deployed 10,000 personnel for the election duty.
Number of candidates in fray: 19
Total voter: 18.48 lakh; 9.7 lakh male, 8.7 lakh female
2274 polling booths at 1582 locations
5 observers, 212 micro observers
Web casting at 60 booths
10,000 polling staff