Fifth phase: High voter turnout in J-K, Jharkhand
Undeterred by the cold winter, voters turned out in large numbers in most of the constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand that went to polls in the fifth and final phase of polls on Saturday.india Updated: Dec 20, 2014 23:29 IST
Undeterred by the cold winter, voters turned out in large numbers in most of the constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand that went to polls in the fifth and final phase of polls on Saturday.
Jammu and Kashmir state assembly saw 76% voting on Saturday in 20 constituencies in the Jammu region, the highest among the rest of the phases.
The figure is also 3% higher than the turnout in the assembly elections in these constituencies in 2008. "It was the highest ever polling in these constituencies," said chief electoral officer Umang Narula.
He said the overall turnout in the marathon state elections was 66%, five figures above the total polling in 2008.
Eleven constituencies recorded more than 80% polling. Gandhi Nagar constituency, which is considered a well-off locality, recorded the lowest - 60%.
The election on Saturday was the most important for the BJP and the Congress while Valley-based parties were all out to make inroads in the Hindu heartland.
The BJP, which has launched an ambitious 'Mission 44+' to form its first ever government in the state, banked upon these 20 seats, as 18 out of them have the Hindu community as the majority population. In 2008, the BJP had won 10 seats out of these constituencies.
The Congress, on the other hand won five seats from the 20 constituencies that went to polls on Saturday, but the party got a drubbing as it won no seat during the LS elections in May last.
The Congress is aiming hard to retain its vote share and of course to even increase it.
The polling in the fifth phase was largely peaceful except for a few clashes between party workers. There was no militancy-related violence.
Most of these constituencies fall along the international border and the line of control with Pakistan. Five of them were hit the most during a month-long firing between Indian and Pakistani armies which five people in Arnia sector. Thousands had to flee home due to the firing.
A total of 213 candidates were in the fray, including the deputy chief minister and four ministers - three of them of the Congress.
Over 70% polling in Jharkhand
Polling in the 16 constituencies of Jharkhand today ended with 70.42 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise in the fifth and final phase of elections to the 81-member state assembly as the day passed-off peacefully.
The Election Commission in its statement said the figure might go up after an update.
Chief Electoral Officer P K Jajoria lauded the police personnel and election staff for successfully carrying out the elections in all the five phases.
He said free, fair and peaceful conduct of elections is a matter of pride for Jharkhand.
Jajoria also commended the voters for turning out in large numbers, saying that they have become aware of the value of vote and its impact on development.
Dumka deputy commissioner Harsh Mangla said the polling in all the constituencies under the district concluded peacefully.
The BJP and the JMM accused each other of beating up their respective activists in Dumka and other areas respectively on Thursday night with the saffron party registering an FIR against Chief Minister Hemant Soren and his brother Basant in connection with the incident.