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59% voter turnout in 3rd phase of Jammu and Kashmir polls

Srinagar: Unfazed by the recent terror attacks, a 59 percent voter turnout was recorded in the third phase of the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday as they continued to ignore boycott calls but it was lower than the earlier rounds.

Today's turnout in freezing cold for 16 seats - all in the Valley - in the five-phase elections was less compared to the earlier record 72 percent polling though it was higher than that in the 2008 polls.

Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi told a press conference in Delhi that the cumulative turnout in the three districts that went to the polls today was six percentage points higher than in 2008.

An Election Commission official said tonight that the polling percentage in the third phase was 58.89 percent and the final tally could go up marginally.

With today's polling, voting has been completed in 49 of the 87 Assembly constituencies. The fourth and fifth phase will be held on December 14 and 20. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 23.

Barring a petrol bomb attack by some unidentified persons at a polling station in Gulmarg, the polling was by and large peaceful in all the constituencies in Baramulla, Pulwama and Budgam districts.

Voters including elderly persons lined up at 1,781 polling stations in sub-zero temperatures at many places in the morning to decide the fate of 144 candidates including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and three of his cabinet colleagues.

Giving the breakup of voting at the end of the polling, Chief Electoral officer Umang Narula said Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam district recorded the highest 82.74 percent as against 74.58 in 2008.

Sopore constituency--the home town of hardline Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani who spearheaded the boycott campaign--saw the lowest 30 percent polling but it was higher compared to 19.95 percent recorded in 2008.

arula said 79 percent polling was registered in Baramulla district's Uri segment which witnessed the deadly attack on an Army camp Friday leaving 11 security force personnel and six militants dead.

In the last assembly polls, the constituency recorded 81.73 percent voting.

Beerwah constituency in Budgam district from where Omar is locked in a multi-cornered contest, recorded an increase of nearly 17 percent in the polling compared to last assembly elections. The constituency recorded 74.14 percent as against 57.17 percent in 2008.

The Budgam district recorded a turnout of 70 percent, Zutshi said. In the 2008 assembly polls, the turnout was 62.42 percent in the district while it was 40.08 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The Baramulla district registered 57 percent voter turnout. In the last assembly polls, the turnout was 47.96 per cent, he said, adding it was a mere 24.41 percent in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Pulwama district witnessed 43 percent turnout as compared to a higher 46.05 percent in 2008. But in the Lok Sabha polls, the turnout was a meagre 7.66 percent.

Zutshi said the polling passed off peacefully with "no incident worth mentioning" taking place.  

From Zee News

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