Jammu: Sonawari Assembly constituency, once a bastion of terrorists, recorded the highest voter turnout of 80 percent among the 15 constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir that went to polls in first phase.
Ignoring boycott calls by separatists and cold conditions, a record 71.28 per cent people came out to cast their vote in the first phase yesterday, which was an increase of about 10 per cent from last in Assembly elections, and about 20 percent up from the Lok Sabha polls.
The voting percentage in LS polls in April-May was 52.63 per cent, while in 2008 Assembly elections it was 61 per cent in these 15 constituencies.
Three Assembly segments of Kashmir valley -- Sonawari, Gurez and Kangan -- recorded the highest polling of 80, 77 and 76 per cent respectively, along with Doda segment of Jammu region and Nobra segment of ladakh region which witnessed 79 and 75.6 per cent poll respectively.
The voting percentage of Sonawari segment of worst militancy-hit Bandipora district shows an increase of 20.05 and 21.95 per cent from 2008 and 2002 Assembly elections, according to official data.
The highest ever turnout of voters was during 1977 Assembly polls in Sonawari, when it was 84.98 per cent, but in the polls of 2008 and 2002 it was just 59.95 and 58.05 pc.
Doda Assembly segment, with 79 pc voter turnout, has shown an increase in turnout of 5.96 and 43.71 per cent from 2008 and 2002 Assembly polls. The highest voter turnout in Doda was in 1987 when it was recorded at 78.05 per cent.
Similarly, Gurez polled 2.98 per cent and 23.55 per cent more votes yesterday than 2008 and 2002 polls, in which polls turnout figures were 74.02 and 53.45 per cent respectively.
Kangan, which polled 76 per cent votes yesterday, has witnessed an increase of 16.05 and 11.29 per cent votes over 2008 and 2002, when it was recorded at 59.55 and 64.71 per cent respectively. The highest poll percentage here was 80.48 per cent in 1987.