90% Panchayat Members’ Vote In LC Polls: CEO

SRINAGAR (ONS) – Over 90 per cent turn out was recorded for four Legislative Council seats in Jammu and Kashmir polling for which was held Monday. The polling was peaceful, official sources said. 

Addressing a press conference at Jammu this evening, chief electoral officer, Umang Narula, said 90 per cent polling was reported for the four seats reserved unde Panchayat quota. The process remained incident-free in all the 149 polling booths set up for the purpose, he claimed. 

He said polling material for the snow bound areas like Kishtwar, Gurez, Machail, Zanaskar etc was airlifted. “The counting for the two seats of Kashmir would be held at SKICC here while that for the two seats of Jammu would be held at Polytechnic College, Jammu, and at respective district headquarters of Leh and Kargil,” he said.

The CEO said the Election Commission had appointed two observers and some micro-observers to monitor the process. So far, five to eight complaints of violation of model code of conduct were received which were being examined.

Official sources said 100% voting was recorded in Srinagar district, 94% in Budgam, 98% in Ganderbal, 96% in Bandipora, 91% in Baramulla, 94% in Kupwara, 87% in Pulwama, 93% in Shopian, 92% in Anantnag, 87% in Kulgam, 86% in Leh and  57% in Kargil districts. They said 84% voting was reported from Sopore and 94% from Handwara.

Talking to KNS, inspector-general of police, S M Sahai, said polling across the valley was conducted in a peaceful manner and without any untoward incidents. He said he along with senior police officials visited the sensitive areas like Sopore, Pattan to personally monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, MLA Shopian, Abdul Razzaq Zawoora, of Peoples Democratic Party, alleged the deputy commissioner had misbehaved with him during his visit to a booth at Shadimarg in the south Kashmir district. “The DC along with BDOs and other officers misbehaved with me and pushed me out of the polling station while he was interacting with NC workers who were serving them tea and snacks,” Zawoora told KNS, adding he had brought the matter in the divisional commissioner’s notice.

When contacted, the divisional commissioner, Dr Asgar Hasan Samoon, confirmed he had received a complaint from the MLA. “If such an incident has taken place, it is unfortunate. I will raise the issue with the chief minister and the election commissioner,” he said.

The Election Observer, Shantmanu, visited various polling booths in Kashmir division, including those at B.K. Pora, Narbal in Budgam district, Pampore in Pulwama district, Pattan and Singhpora in Baramulla district besides Wakoora in Ganderbal and Sumbal in Bandipora districts.

The polls for the reserved seats were held after a gap of 38 years. The ruling coalition parties, National Conference and Congress are contesting the elections jointly and have fielded two candidates each for the four seats.

The opposition parties, including PDP and Panthers Party, have fielded candidates for all four seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting three seats —— two from Jammu region and one from Kashmir Valley. The Bahujan Samaj Party has also fielded three candidates.

As many as 15,628 panchayat members have to elect two MLCs in Jammu division where 21 candidates are in the fray, while 17,912 members have to elect two members from among 16 candidates from Kashmir division.

Tight security arrangements had been put in place with para—military and state police personnel deployed in sensitive areas to deal with any untoward incident.

Counting of votes will take place on December 6 and the EVMs will be shifted from all district headquarters to Jammu and Srinagar on December 4 and 5

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