Other States

48.6% turnout in J&K despite the cold

Voters wait in queues to cast their votes during the second phase of the District Development Council (DDC) elections at Meen Sarkar Sambha in Jammu, on Dec. 1, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Keeping up the momentum from the first phase, 48.62% of the voters exercised their franchise in the second phase of the District Development Council election in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, with the Valley recording 33.4%. Polling was peaceful.

“J&K has recorded a 48.62% turnout. Long queues were seen right from the morning despite severe cold conditions in the Kashmir division and hilly areas of the Jammu division. The polling has been peaceful in all 43 constituencies,” State Election Commissioner K.K. Sharma said.The Jammu division recorded a 65.54% polling.

Brisk polling

With brisk polling despite the cold weather, men and women queued up outside polling booths in Bandipora in huge numbers, setting a record 69.66% turnout in the Valley. “These polls are our way to affirm our faith in democracy. We expect the government of the day to accept the verdict and listen to the political and development demands of the people of Kashmir and do the needful,” Nasreen Jan, a first-time voter, said in the Sumbal area of north Kashmir.

Kupwara saw a turnout of 58.69% followed by Ganderbal (49.14), Budgam (43.51), Srinagar (33.78), Kulgam (29.9) and Baramulla (28.95).

In south Kashmir, the volatile districts of Shopian saw a low turnout of 17.28%, Anantnag 16.09% and Pulwama 8.67%. Voter enthusiasm was also evident in the Jammu division, where Poonch district saw a record percentage of 75.07% turnout, followed by Jammu at 69.97%. The lowest turnout in Jammu division was in Kathua district at 60.1%, officials said.

Kishtwar recorded 61.64%, Doda 64.8%, Ramban 66.23%, Udhampur 62.51%, Samba 66.38%, Reasi 69.27% and Rajouri 60.21%.

“Of the 7,95,118 voters, 3,77,401 — 2,01,792 men and 1,75,609 women — voted to choose their representatives in their respective councils. Polling was held in 2,142 polling stations — 1,305 from Kashmir division and 837 from Jammu,” Mr. Kumar said.

The byelections for vacant panch, sarpanch and urban local bodies were also held.

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti alleged that her party leader Rouf Bhat was “detained again on the day municipal election is being held in Srinagar”. “The Government of India, by subverting democracy, reminds me of the cycle of rigged elections in the past, one of the reasons J&K is in turmoil,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 10:16:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jk-ddc-polls-voting-under-way-in-second-phase/article33219648.ece

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