71% voting in phase 5 of Jammu-Kashmir panchayat elections
In the fifth phase of the nine-phased panchayat polls held across 15 districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, an overall poll percentage of 71.1% was witnessed across the state.
According to chief electoral officer Shaleen Kabra, 85.2% polling was witnessed in Jammu division and 33.7% in Kashmir division in the fifth phase, which passed off peacefully.
While the turnout was high in the first three phases in Kashmir despite the militant threats and boycott by the main regional parties - the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, the voting percentage in the region has ebbed since then.
The polling began at 8 am and ended at 2 pm in 2,512 polling stations, including 1,743 stations in Jammu division and 769 in Kashmir division, Kabra said.
Kabra said that Kupwara witnessed 42.5% polling, Bandipora 34.6%, Baramulla 32.9%, Ganderbal 20.3%, Budgam 34.8%, Pulwama 0.5 %, Anantnag 10.1 %, Doda 83.3%, Ramban 85.2%, Udhampur 82%, Reasi 89.1%, Jammu 88.9 %, Rajouri 82.8% and Poonch 84.5% polling.
Reasi district in Jammu region recorded the highest polling of 89.1%, while Pulwama district in central Kashmir recorded the lowest at 0.5%, the official said.
Kabra said in the first phase of panchayat polls held on November 17, 74.1% polling was recorded across J&K including 64.5% in Kashmir division and 79.4% in Jammu division. In the second phase of the elections on November 20, overall 71.1% polling was witnessed across the state with 80.4% polling in Jammu division and 52.2% in Kashmir division.
In third phase, 75.2% polling was witnessed including 55.7% in Kashmir division and 83.0% in Jammu division and in the fourth phase the state witnessed 71.3% polling with 82.4% in Jammu division and 32.3% in Kashmir division.
Meanwhile, chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam conveyed compliments from governor Satya Pal Malik to the civil and police administration for smooth, fair and peaceful conduct of panchayat polls amid challenging situations.
He said the process is half way through and credit goes to the divisional, district and police administration and other concerned departments for ensuring smooth polls.
(With inputs from agency)
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