Panchayat Elections: Low Turnout Marks Phase-VI In Kashmir

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SRINAGAR —The sixth phase of the 9-phased Panchayat elections recorded a low voter turnout of 17.3 percent in Kashmir Valley on Saturday.

The Jammu region recorded 84.6 percent polling and the overall turnout was 76.9 percent, election officials said.

Three districts of Valley—Budgam, Kulgam and Anantnag—failed to get voting in double digit while four others districts in Ganderbal, Bandipora, Srinagar and Baramulla saw voting 41.5%, 35.3%, 12.5% and 12.1% respectively. Kulgam recorded lowest 4.6% followed by Anantnag (7.3%) and Budgam (9%). In Jammu division, they said, Doda recorded 80.4%, Ramban 81.5%, Udhampur 88.5%, Reasi 85.6%, Kathua 84%, Samba 84.7%, Jammu 87.1%, Rajouri 83.6% and Poonch 81.8%.

Polling for the sixth phase was held at 3,174 polling stations — 410 in the Kashmir division and 2,764 in the Jammu division — in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The officials said 771 polling stations — 410 in the Kashmir division and 361 in the Jammu division — were categorised as hypersensitive.

As many as 7,156 candidates were in the fray for 406 sarpanch and 2,277 panch seats in the sixth phase, while 111 sarpanches and 1,048 panches were elected unopposed, they added.

A total of 5,97,396 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise for the sarpanch constituencies and 4,57,581 for the panch constituencies, the officials said.

In the fifth phase on November 29, the state witnessed a polling percentage of 71.1 per cent.

The fourth phase on November 27, 71.3 per cent polling was recorded.

The third phase held on November 23 witnessed a polling percentage of 75.2 per cent, while 71.1 per cent was recorded in the second phase on November 20.

In the first phase held on November 17, 74.1 per cent polling was recorded. The last polls of the nine-phased election is scheduled for December 11.

Panchayat elections were last held in Jammu and Kashmir in 2011.

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