SRINAGAR While as phase-VII of the nine-phased Panchayat elections in Kashmir Valley recorded a turnout of 30.2 percent on Tuesday officially, there was no polling in Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam, the three districts of south Kashmir with high presence of militants.
North Kashmirs Kupwara recorded the highest turnout of 45 percent while Anantnag, Budgam, and Baramulla recorded less than 18 percent voting. Budgam recorded lowest 13.1 percent, Anantnag 15.5 percent while Baramulla saw 17.8 percent voting, the election officials said. Ganderbal, the other central district, saw a voter turnout of 30.9 percent voting. Jammu division recorded 84.8 percent polling and the Jammu and Kashmir as a whole saw 75.3 percent turnout, the officials added.
There was no election held under the Phase VII in Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam as there were no contestants in fray.
In 17 Halqas of Shopian, there were 133 Panch seats under phase-VII. However, there were no candidates for the most of the seats while 3 sarpanch and 12 Panch seats were won unopposed.
Similar situation prevailed in Pulwama, another south Kashmir district with militant presence. In 16 Halqas, 144 wards were scheduled to vote. Only one candidate filed nominations for Sarpanch seat and was elected unopposed while 5 candidates were declared unopposed for Panch seats.
In another south Kashmir district of Kulgam, there were 12 Halqas with 84 wards scheduled to vote. However barring one Sarpanch and 5 Panch wards who won unopposed, there were no candidates for the seats and hence no election.
Meanwhile, in Jammu division, Ramban recorded 83%, Reasi 86.7%, Samba 85.5%, Jammu 83.7%, Rajouri 84% while Poonch saw the highest turnout of 86.6%.
The voting began at 8 am at 2,714 polling stations – 576 in Kashmir division and 2,138 in Jammu division, they said.
The officials said 892 polling stations were categorized as “hypersensitive” in this phase, including 428 in Kashmir division and 464 in Jammu division.
They said 5,575 candidates are in the fray for 341 sarpanch and 1,798 panch seats, while 85 sarpanches and 912 panches have been elected unopposed in this phase.
An electorate of 4,75,865 were eligible to vote for sarpanch constituencies and 3,45,880 for panch constituencies, the officials said.
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