Srinagar: The last phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections held across 28 constituencies in Jammu & Kashmir recorded nearly 51 per cent voter turnout, J&K State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma said on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference here, the SEC said that polling was peaceful in the poll going 28 constituencies of DDC including 13 in Kashmir division and 15 in Jammu division that witnessed 50.98 per cent of polling.
The SEC said that polling was held in 1703 polling stations including 1028 from Kashmir division and 675 from Jammu division.
“Jammu division recorded an average voter turnout of 72.71% with Poonch district recording the highest percentage of 83.58% followed by Reasi district with 81.92% and Rajouri with 77.31%,” Sharma said.
“The Kashmir Division recorded 29.91% average voter turnout with Kupwara district recording the highest polling at 63.80% followed by Bandipora with 56.56% and Baramulla district recorded 44.60% polling,” he added.
Giving district wise details, the SEC said that in Kashmir division the polling percentage recorded in Budgam was 35.12%, Anantnag 8.66%, Kulgam 11.20%, Pulwama 8.50% and 8.58%polling was registered in Shopian.
Similarly, in Jammu division, he said, poll percentage of 73.65% was recorded in Samba, 73.93% in Kathua, 73.42% in Ramban, 73.45% per cent in Kishtwar, 60.49% in Udhampur, 70.33% in Doda and 69.39% in Jammu district.
The SEC said that the elections were held to 280 DDC constituencies for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is very promising to note that a very good participation of people was observed and enthusiasm among the people could be found on its peak keeping in view the fact that these elections are going to have on the developmental scenario in the rural community,” he said, adding “Besides these, 1088 Panchayat Halqas and 12153 Panch constituencies went to elections,”
Sharma further said that re-polling was ordered after contesting candidates from several political parties, other candidates and voters complained about unlawful activities during polling at some polling stations of Mendhar and Shopian DDC Constituencies. Besides, attempt to create ruckus at some polling stations.
Giving further details, the SEC said, that the re-polling has been done at four polling stations of Poshana (Bufliaz DDC constituency) today.
He said that the same would be done in two polling stations of 17-PS Hajama and 32-MS Gallian (Mendhar-A DDC constituency), two polling stations of 29-Sakhimaidan & 30-GMS Sakhimaidan (Mendhar-B DDC Constituency) besides at two polling stations of Balpora (DDC Constituency Shopian-II) on 21st December.
He further added that the poll timing would be 7 am to 2 pm whereas the counting shall be done on December 22, 2020 along with the rest of the DDC constituencies as per the schedule notified by the Election Authority.
The SEC further expressed thanks to the Administration, Health department, Security forces, J&K Police, Political Parties, contesting candidates and Media for helping to conduct peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections.
“The Administration has played a pivotal role in making the elections a success as they have actually made it happen. In Kashmir the government officials have braved the chilling cold to ensure that democratic process comes out successful,” Sharma said.
He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir “overwhelmingly” participated in the election process thus reposing their faith in democracy and democratic process.
I want to recognise the role of political parties and independents for participating in these polls. Also, I thank the government machinery including the police and CAPFs for their efforts, Sharma said.
On a question about the possibility of the assembly polls in the UT after the successful culmination of the DDC polls, Sharma said, “Assembly election is the mandate of the ECI (Election Commission of India). It is not right for me to comment. But, they (assembly polls) will happen sometime and the ECI will take steps for it.”
Further, Sharma said that counting of votes for Sarpanch and Panch constituencies which went to poll in the eighth phase is being conducted.
2 Candidates Injured In Group Clashes
At least fifteen people, including two DDC candidates were injured in four different incidents of group clashes in Poonch during the last phase of district polls on Saturday.
Officials said that voting under the last phase was held in Mankote and Mendhar-C constituencies of Poonch district on Saturday.
In Mankote constituency, a scuffle took place at Chajjla where Mohammad Ashraf, an independent candidate and three of his supporters got injured after stones were pelted on their vehicles.
“At Kalaban and Jagal areas of Mendhar-C constituency, scuffle near polling stations took place between supporters of PAGD candidate and an independent candidate in which two persons got injured at Kalaban and one at Jagal area,” an official said.
Meanwhile, at Salwah area of Mendhar-C, four-person got injured in the morning after supporters of PAGD candidate and independent candidate entered in a scuffle.
However, fourth and the major incident took place at Sakhi Maidan area of Mendhar-B DDC constituency where re-polling at Sakhi Maidan polling station were ordered after suspected bogus voting was reported during the 7th phase.
” Congress candidate from Mendhar-B, Parveen Khan was on way to Sakhi Maidan when her vehicle came under heavy stone pelting leaving her and two of her PSOs injured,” officials said.
“Sensing threat to the life of protected Congress leader, one of her PSO resorted to aerial firing to scare away the attackers,” officials said.
Many vehicles also suffered damage in the incidents of stone-pelting.
“We have four incidents in the area today in which around fifteen people including two DDC candidates got injured.” Dr. PA Khan, BMO of Mendhar sub-division said.
Khan said that all the injured are stable and out of danger with minor injuries and only one among them has been shifted to a hospital for some specialised treatment.
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