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16.4% polling recorded in Phase-III: CEO

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3.49% electors vote in Valley; Uri tops with 75.34%, Srinagar lowest at 1.84%

Srinagar, Oct 13: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K, Shaleen Kabra Saturday evening said that overall 16.4 percent polling was witnessed in the Phase-III of Municipal Polls-2018 across J&K today.

Kabra said in Jammu division 81.4 percent polling was witnessed in 4 ULBs of district Samba that went to polls today while Kashmir division witnessed average 3.5 percent polling with Municipal Committee Uri recording the highest of 75.3 percent voting. The lowest poll percentage of 1.8 percent was recorded in Srinagar.

In Jammu division highest polling percentage of 85.73 percent was recorded in Bari Brahamana ULB, the CEO said.

He said the cumulative poll percentage in all the three phases till date is 41.9 percent with 68.4 percent voting recorded in Jammu division and 6.7 percent in Kashmir Division. The final phase of the Municipal Polls is scheduled to be held on 16 October 2018.

Kabra said that 365 candidates were in the fray for 96 wards of 8 Urban Local Bodies for the 3rd Phase comprising a total electorate of 193990 electors.

The CEO said that due to non-replacement of EVM in time, repoll shall be held at Polling Station No: 9 Bachidarwaza of Makhdoom Sahab (Ward No: 41) on 16 October 2018.

In the Valley, which has witnessed low polling in the first two of the four-phase elections after boycott calls by the separatists and the militant groups together with mainstream parties like the NC, the PDP and the CPI (M) also boycotting these elections, while the frontier town of Uri in Baramulla district recorded a 75.34 percent turnout, in the 20 wards of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) that went to polls in the third phase, only 1.84 percent of the 1.53 lakh eligible voters exercised their franchise, the election officials said.

They said in Uri, 75.34 percent of the 3,552 voters cast their votes, while the Mattan Municipal Committee of Anantnag district 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 percent voting and in 2008, 82.07 percent.

The officials said in Sheerpora ward of the Anantnag Municipal Council, where election authorities had ordered a repoll, only 1.39 percent of the 2,643 electors 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 percent turnout on October 08 while only 3.4 percent of the electorate exercised their franchise in the second phase held two days later.

In Jammu’s Samba district, of the 31,878 voters, 82 percent 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 percent voters registering their choice at 57 polling stations set up across the district,” District Election Officer, Samba, Sushma Chauhan was quoted as saying by 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 percent turnout, followed by Vijaypur (85 percent), Ramgarh (83 percent) and Samba (78.8 percent).

Today’s polling in Samba completed the elections in all the 10 districts of the Jammu region.

Municipal elections are being held, amid tight security, after a gap of 13 years in four phases, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh electors across the state.

The officials said 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards. The counting of votes will be held on October 20.

The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.

The National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the CPI(M) have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

Safakadal, Chanapora wards record less than 10 votes each

Srinagar, Oct 13: (PTI) Safakadal, a ward in the city’s old town, and Chanapora, in the Civil Lines, polled less than 10 votes each in the third phase of the urban local body elections in which 20 municipal wards went to polls Saturday.

Safakadal, which has a total electorate of 9,062, saw two voters turning out in the first hour of the polling and an addition of one more in the last hour taking the total number of votes polled to three.

There was minor incident of stone pelting in this area and police had to use mild force to disperse the mob, officials said.

Chanapora, which has an electorate of 10,000, had polled only two votes till 1 pm with an addition of only six more votes to end with a tally of eight by the close of polling.

The posh Rajbagh area of the city saw only 19 voters turning up at the polling stations to register their choice of candidate while as nearby Ikhrajpora polled a much higher tally of 149 votes.

The historic Lal Chowk, which has an electoral strength 5,827, saw only 71 voters exercise their franchise during the day.

Daulatabad and Makhdoom Sahib in the old city, which fall in the Khanyar Assembly segment represented by National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, saw a comparatively ‘good’ turnout.

Daulatabad registered 596 out of the total 8,431 eligible votes while Makhdoom Sahib — which houses the revered shrine of Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (RA) — saw 550 of the 6,132 eligible votes getting cast.

As many as 36 voters turned out to cast their votes at Hyderpora ward, where Hurriyat-G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani lives.

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