3.49% turnout in Val­ley, Samba records 82% vot­ing in J-K civic polls

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

Just 3.49 per cent of the elec­torate voted in the third phase of the ur­ban lo­cal body polls in mil­i­tancy-hit Kash­mir Val­ley, while a high turnout of 82 per cent was recorded in Jammu's Samba district, of­fi­cials said Satur­day.

The fron­tier town of Uri in Bara­mulla district recorded a 75.34 per cent turnout, buck­ing the trend in the Val­ley, which has wit­nessed low polling in the first two of the four-phase elec­tions af­ter boy­cott calls from par­ties like the NC, the PDP and the CPI (M).

In the 20 wards of the Sri­na­gar Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (SMC) that went to polls in the third phase, only 1.84 per cent of the 1.53 lakh el­i­gi­ble vot­ers ex­er­cised their fran­chise, the elec­tion of­fi­cials said.

Safakadal, a ward in the city's old town, and Chana­pora, in the Civil Lines, polled less than 10 votes each. The polling, which be­gan at 6 am and ended at 4 pm, saw 11 SMC wards record­ing less than 100 votes.

They said in Uri, 75.34 per cent of the 3,552 vot­ers cast their votes, while in the Mat­tan Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee of Anant­nag district, the only town in In­dia other than Konark to have a Sun Tem­ple, wit­nessed a turnout of 2.81 per cent.

Brisk polling was wit­nessed in Uri with peo­ple lin­ing up out­side polling booths much be­fore 6.00 am, the of­fi­cials said. Of the 3,552 el­i­gi­ble vot­ers, 2,676 turned up to ex­er­cise their fran­chise at the Uri Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee's 13 wards. There are 31 can­di­dates in the fray.

Peo­ple of the town tra­di­tion­ally turnout in large num­bers in elec­tions and in this poll, it has the high­est turnout in the Val­ley. In the 2014 Jammu and Kash­mir elec­tions, Uri con­stituency saw 82.94 per cent vot­ing and in 2008, 82.07 per cent.

The of­fi­cials said in Sheer­pora ward of the Anant­nag Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil, where elec­tion au­thor­i­ties had or­dered a re­poll, only 1.39 per cent of the 2,643 ex­er­cised their fran­chise.

Though 151 wards were to go to polls in the third phase in the Val­ley, vot­ing was held only in 40 wards. Forty-nine wards were won un­con­tested and no nom­i­na­tions filed for 62 wards.

The first phase of the polls in the Kash­mir Val­ley saw 8.3 per cent turnout on Oc­to­ber 8 while only 3.4 per cent of the elec­torate ex­er­cised their fran­chise in the sec­ond phase held two days later.

There are 365 can­di­dates in the fray for 96 wards of eight ur­ban lo­cal bod­ies for the third phase com­pris­ing a to­tal elec­torate of 1,93,990 elec­tors.

In Jammu's Samba district, of the 31,878 vot­ers, 82 per cent ex­er­cised their fran­chise in the third phase, a re­peat of the high voter turnout recorded in the first two phases in the re­gion.

"The vot­ing con­cluded in a peace­ful man­ner with about 82 per cent vot­ers reg­is­ter­ing their choice at 57 polling sta­tions set up across the district,” District Elec­tion Of­fi­cer, Samba, Sushma Chauhan, told PTI.

Vot­ers thronged polling sta­tions across the district to choose their rep­re­sen­ta­tives for four mu­nic­i­pal com­mit­tees – Samba, Ram­garh, Vi­jay­pur and Bari-Brah­mana.

She said Bari-Brah­mana recorded a high 87 per cent turnout, fol­lowed by Vi­jay­pur (85 per cent), Ram­garh (83 per cent) and Samba (78.8 per cent).

Satur­day's polling in Samba com­pleted the elec­tions in all the 10 dis­tricts of the Jammu re­gion.

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