The polling for urban local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir was held in 11 districts across the state on Monday. Till 4 pm, a total voter turnout of 63.83% was recorded, with Kargil recording the highest voter turnout at 78.2%. While the Jammu region witnessed a brisk turnout, that recorded in the Valley was much on the lower side.
In the Kashmir region, the polling percentage recorded was:
# Anantnag - 7.3%
# Budgam – 17%
# Bandipore - 3.4%
# Baramulla - 5.1%
# Kupwara - 32.3%
# Srinagar - 6.2%
The Jammu region, however, witnessed a brisk voter turnout with Jammu at 63.8%, Poonch at 73.1% and Rajouri at 81%. In the Ladakh region, 55.2% voter turnout was recorded in Leh while 78.2% turnout was recorded in Kargil.
Notably, several political parties, including the National Conference and the PDP had boycotted the urban local body elections. However, it failed to deter the voters from coming out in large numbers in Jammu and Ladakh regions.
The boycott call was given by the parties in protest against Article 35A of the Constitution being challenged in the Supreme Court.
Voting was held amid tight security in 321 municipal wards across 11 districts – three in the Jammu region, two in Ladakh and six in Kashmir valley – to decide the political fate of 1,204 candidates.
The last elections to the municipal bodies in the state were held in 2005 and its five-year term expired in February 2010.
In today's phase, voting took place in 75 wards in the Jammu municipal corporation, 79 in seven municipal committees in the Jammu district, 63 in five municipal committees in Rajouri, 30 in two municipal committees in Poonch and 13 each in municipal committees in Leh and Kargil.
The second phase of polling covering 384 wards will be held on October 10 followed by third phase covering 207 wards on October 13 and the last phase covering 132 wards on October 16. The counting of votes will be done on October 20.
As many as 2,990 candidates are in the fray for the four-phased elections covering a total of 1,145 wards, including the municipal corporations for the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar.
As many as 2,137 candidates are in fray from Jammu, 787 from Kashmir and 66 from Ladakh.
In all the four phases, as many as 244 candidates -- 231 in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu -- have been declared elected unopposed.
(With PTI Inputs)