51.7% turnout in first phase of J-K DDC polls
The first phase of the maiden elections to the District Development Council recorded 51.76% voting in 43 constituencies that went to the polls under tight security arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, official figures showed.
The contest is between the newly launched People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, the BJP and the Apni Party floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.
State election commissioner KK Sharma said, “The first phase of DDC polls was held in 43 constituencies in all the 20 districts of the UT. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere barring a minor incident where a child threw a stone at a polling station in Kulgam. Police took cognizance”.
Sharma said a large number of people came out to exercise their franchise. “Out of 7 lakh voters, 51.76% voted today; 212,244 voters turned out in Jammu and 150,522 turned out in Kashmir despite cold wave conditions, and that is an encouraging sign,” he said.
Sharma said the Jammu region recorded a voting percentage of 64.2 while Kashmir logged 40.65.
The official said a total of 362,000 voters exercised their right to franchise, which included 193,000 men and 169,000 women despite intense cold wave conditions in the upper reaches of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The highest polling percentage in Jammu was recorded in Reasi district at 74.6% followed by Rajouri, 70.52%, Poonch, 68.69%, and Samba, 68.61%. In Kashmir, Budgam district recorded a highest voting percentage of 56.96 followed by Kupwara, 50.74%, Ganderbal, 48.62%, and Shopian, 42.58%. Twenty-five constituencies in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu went to the polls in the first phase.
The counting of votes for the eight-phase polls will be held on December 22.
In the second phase on December 1, a total of 43 constituencies -- 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu -- will go to the polls, with 321 candidates in the fray, including 125 in Jammu and 196 in Kashmir. For the second phase, there will be 2,762 polling stations for 760,664 electors.
The state election commission has prohibited the conduct of any exit poll and publishing/displaying of the result of any such exit poll till the last phase of the elections is over.
An order by Sharma said, “In exercise of powers conferred under Section 36 of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, the election authority prohibits the conduct of any exit poll and publishing or publicising/displaying the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner in the ongoing DDC elections in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir till the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll in the last phase of these elections on December 19.”
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