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J&K’s 7th phase DDC polling sees highest 57.22% turnout

File photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Voters continued to turn up in large numbers at the polling booths in J&K on Wednesday in the seventh phase of the District Development Council (DDC) polls, registering the highest 57.22% turnout of all the phases so far.

“A voter percentage of 57.22% was recorded in 31 constituencies with the Kashmir division witnessing 39.52% and the Jammu division 71.93%,” State Election Commissioner K.K. Sharma said.

The polling pace was slow in the morning in Kashmir valley, which is reeling under a cold wave with night temperature falling to less than minus 3 degree Celsius the previous night, but picked up the pace as the day proceeded.

Despite the chill, polling booths in Bandipora witnessed long queues. The DDC constituencies in Bandipora saw the highest polling in the Valley at 70.47% followed by Baramulla (59.53%) and Kupwara (59.23%).

“It’s a welcome development that people are coming out to vote. There is anger against the Centre and the BJP among the voters. Voters are coming out in large numbers to stop the communal forces in J&K. This election means little to our party that is fighting a bigger cause,” senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said.

Volatile south Kashmir also showed a rise in voting percentage in this phase, with Anantnag recording 22.46%, followed by Kulgam 17.98%, Shopian 6.55% and Pulwama 11.06%.

Apni Party candidate Anees ul Islam Ganai, who was shot at by suspected militants on December 3, also tuned up at a polling booth in Anantnag , despite the injuries.

“People are coming out to vote out those who have resorted to thuggery in the past 70 years in J&K against people. I may be injured but I voted to send this message that I stand with people,” Mr. Ganai said.

Officials said the Internet remained suspended in Anantnag for the past two days “as a precautionary measure”.

In the Jammu division, voter turnout remained on the higher side in all the constituencies.

“In the Jammu division, 74.38 percent was recorded in Samba, 72.85% in Kathua, 67.75% in Ramban, 73.10% in Rajouri, 69.89% in Kishtwar and 68.66% in Jammu district,” Mr. Sharma said.

Of 31 constituencies that saw polling on Wednesday, 13 were from Kashmir division and 18 from Jammu division, with 148 and 150 candidates in the fray, respectively.

All 1,068 in the Kashmir division were declared as hypersensitive. The final phase of the elections will be held on December 19 and the results will be declared on December 22.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:52:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/polling-for-7th-phase-of-ddc-elections-in-j-k-begins/article33342123.ece

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