3.5% polling in Kashmir in 3rd phase of Municipal elections

Aasif Suhaf/New Delhi, Oct 13: In Jammu & Kashmir, the Baramulla district in north Kashmir recorded highest voter turnout of 75.3% in the 3rd phase of Municipal Elections in Kashmir valley today. However, Srinagar recorded 1.8% voter turnout, with next 2nd highest voter turnout of 3.2 % in Anantnag district in south Kashmir. Samba district in Jammu Division recorded 81.4 % voter turnout.Chief Electoral Officials said that 3.5% polling percentage was recorded in Kashmir Division (including Leh & Kargil) in 3rd phase with an aggregate of 6.7% in first three phases of Municipal polls till date. They said 81.4% voter turnout was recorded in Jammu Division with an aggregate percentage of 68.4% in three phases so far in the Division. In the State, the aggregate polling percentage in 3rd phase is 16.4% while the aggregate polling percentage in three phases in the State is recorded at 41.9%.The statistics revealed that out of total electorate of 1, 53, 316 in Srinagar district, only 1.8 % voters turned up for voting in various areas of Srinagar district in 3rd phase today. In Anantnag, 3.2 % voter turn out was recorded out of the total electorate of 5469.Similarly out of 3552 electors in Baramulla district, 75.3 % voter turnout was recorded.In south Kashmir’s Pulwama and north Kashmir’s Bandipora districts, some candidates have been elected unopposed while in the other wards no candidate had filed papers for the third phase contest.Pertinently, low to moderate turnout was recorded in the second of the four-phased municipal body elections in Jammu and Kashmir on October 10 with only 3.4 per cent voters turning to polling booths in Kashmir valley while Jammu region witnessing enthusiastic 78.6 per cent turnout. The overall percentage stayed at 31.3 per cent, less than the 56.7 per cent turnout in the first phase of the Municipal polls held on October 8.Chief Electoral Office J&K informed that 365 candidates are in the fray for 96 wards of 8 Urban Local Bodies for the 3rd Phase comprising a total electorate of 1, 93, 990 electors. The overall poll percentage in the first two phases of the Municipal Polls has been 47.2%.Observers have been deployed, including micro-observers at 222 hypersensitive polling stations in the Kashmir Division and 19 in Jammu Division.Pertinently, Municipal Elections-2018 are being held in four phases, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh electors. A total of 3372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards.The 4th and last phase of Municipal elections is scheduled on October 16  with poll timing from 6 A.M. to 4 P.M. 4 p.m.The Municipal Polls are going on amid boycott call by the Kashmiri separatists and decision of two mainstream parties—National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stay away from the process.The normal life remained largely affected in most of the poll bound areas in Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir Valley during Municipal polls on the call of separatists.

News24 Bureau