Srinagar/Ranchi: 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.
The highest turnout of 82.74 percent was recorded in Chrar-i-Sharief, while the lowest of 30 percent was seen in Sopore.
Uri recorded 79 percent, Rafiabad 53, Sangrama 56.15, Baramulla 45, Gulmarg 72, Pattan 60, Chadoora 65, Badgam 70, Beerwah 74, Khansahib 73, Tral 37.68, Pampore 46.48, Pulwama 38.31, and Rajpora 47.07.
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 per cent 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.
Over 13 lakh voters were eligible to decide the political fate of 138 candidates in the districts of Baramulla, Budgam and Pulwama at 1,781 polling stations.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Chowdhary Taj Mohiuddin, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Abdul Rahim Rather and Javaid Ahmad Dar were among the prominent candidates.
Undeterred by separatist threats and boycott calls, people stood in long queues in Badgam constituency.
Moderate to brisk voting was seen in Uri, Pattan, Sangrama and Gulmarg, while Sopore witnessed a low turnout.
In Beerwah, from where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is contesting, voters stood in long queues at booths.
Rajpora, Pulwama and Pampore also saw voters turn up in good numbers as the bright, but weak winter sun shed some warmth over the valley.
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.
61% turnout in 3rd phase of Jharkhand polls
An estimated 60.89 percent polling was recorded in 17 Assembly constituencies of Jharkhand where polling for the third of the five-phase took place today.
Balloting began Tuesday at 7 am in 17 of the 81 assembly constituencies. The fate of 289 candidates were sealed in the third phase.
Over 50 lakh voters, including 23.5 lakh women, were eligible to elect their representatives at 5,865 polling booths.
Official sources said polling was by and large incident-free amidst elaborate security arrangements.
While Silli assembly constituency recorded the highest 74.77 percent of polling, Ranchi registered the lowest at 44.44 percent.
EC sources said Koderma Assembly segment recorded 64.80 percent followed by Barkatha 65.10 percent, Barhi 65.27 percent, Barkagaon 60.25 percent, Mandu 60.07 percent, Hazaribagh 58.50 percent, Simaria 60.79 percent, Dhanwar 63.51 percent, Gomia 66.12 percent, Bermo 60.23 percent, Ichagarh 71 percent, Ramgarh 63 percent.
Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke, where polling ended at 5.00 PM, recorded 55.45 percent and 56.27 percent voting respectively.
Former external affairs minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha cast his vote in Hazaribagh, while Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmad and Chief Minister Hemant Soren voted in Ranchi.
Former chief minister Babulal Marandi, former assembly speaker CP Singh, Jharkhand ministers Annapurna Devi of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Rajendra Prasad Singh of the Congress and Jai Prakash Bhai Patel of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha were among the prominent candidates in this phase.
Polling for 33 of the 81 seats was held on November 25 and December 2, which registered 61.92 percent and 64.68 percent turnout respectively.
(With agency inputs)