STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A 48.62 percent turnout was recorded in the second phase of polling in District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir which passed off peacefully on Tuesday.Another excellent performance in Kashmir in the Phase-2 DDC elections. Polling has been very brisk and long queues of women in particular were seen everywhere.The faith in grassroots democracy continues. Sets the tempo for the next 6 phases.Jammu region witnessed 65.54 percent voting, while Kashmir valley recorded an average of 33.34 percent turnout, state election commissioner K K Sharma told reporters here.Bandipora district recorded the highest turnout in Kashmir at 69.66 percent which was the third-highest in the union territory.A turnout of 51.76 was recorded in the first phase on November 28– 64.2 percent in the Jammu division and 40.65 percent in the Kashmir division.The election is significant as it is the first major democratic exercise since the Centre abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to J-K and bifurcated the state into two union territories in August year.Poonch recorded the highest turnout of 75 percent on Tuesday, while Pulwama retained its position at the bottom, as in the first phase, with just 8.67 percent people casting their votes.
Srinagar: The Election Commission of India will take a final call on holding the first assembly polls after the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir as a union territory, state election commissioner K K Sharma said on Tuesday.“It will not be appropriate for me to comment on it. The Election Commission (of India) will take a final decision on assembly elections,” Sharma told reporters here. He was replying to a question whether the situation was conducive in Jammu and Kashmir for holding the elections to the legislative assembly of the union territorySharma said as state election commissioner, his mandate was limited to holding polls to urban local bodies and panchayati Raj institutions. “We held deliberations with the law and order machinery and other agencies involved in holding the elections for District Development Councils before deciding on it. “I am sure a similar process will be followed for holding assembly elections but the Election Commission will decide on it,” he said.The last assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir were held in November-December , 2014, which led to the formation of the PDP-BJP government in the erstwhile state for the first and the last time.The coalition government fell in June 2018 after the BJP pulled out and withdrew support, leading to the imposition of the governor’s rule.President’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in January 2019 and extended in July last year as elections were not conducted in the state.The Centre nullified Article 370 and reorganised Jammu and Kashmir into union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — on August 5, 2019.While the Ladakh union territory does not have a legislature in the new set up, Jammu and Kashmir has been provided with a legislative assembly but the elections have not been held even after a passage of more than a year.
Out of the 280 constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, 43 went to polls in the second phase with 25 in Kashmir and 18 in the Jammu division.Voting was held in 43 DDC constituencies including 25 in Kashmir and 18 in the Jammu region in the first phase.“The voting for the second phase of DDC elections passed off peacefully with no incident reported from anywhere in the union territory.The overall voting percentage for the second phase was 48.62 per cent,” Sharma said.On the dip in poll percentage in the valley, Sharma said it was for the people to vote.“We have been appealing to people to vote in the DDC polls as these are very important in electing the decision-making body at the district level. We have run awareness campaigns in this regard but in the end, it is the people who have to vote, ” he said. Giving details, Sharma said 1.45 lakh people including 62,117 women turned up to cast their votes in the valley. In Jammu, 1.27 lakh male voters and 1.13 lakh female voters exercised their franchise.The SEC said that a large number of people have come out to cast their votes during second phase of District Development Council Elections 2020. Long queues were seen right from morning despite severe cold conditions in Kashmir Division and hilly areas of Jammu Division.The SEC further informed that Jammu division recorded an average voter turnout of 65.54 per cent with Poonch District recording the highest percentage of 75.07% followed by Jammu district with 69.97 per cent. The lowest turnout in Jammu division was in Kathua district which recorded 60.10%. The Kashmir Division recorded 33.34 per cent voter turnout. Bandipora district recorded highest polling at 69.66 per cent followed by Kupwara District at 58.69 per cent and Ganderbal with around 49.14 per cent polling in the second phase of elections.Giving the district wise details about the DDC, the SEC informed that in Kashmir Division, the polling percentage recorded in Budgam was 43.51 per cent, Srinagar 33.78 per cent, Kulgam 29.90 per cent, Baramulla 28.95 per cent, Shopian 17.28 per cent, Anantnag 16.09 per cent and Pulwama 8.67 per cent.Similarly, in Jammu division, poll percentage of 61.64 per cent was recorded in Kishtwar, 64.80 per cent in Doda, 66.23 per cent in Ramban, 62.51 per cent in Udhampur, 66.38 per cent in Samba and 69.27 per cent in Reasi and 60.21 per cent in Rajouri.Further, he said that counting of votes for Sarpanch and Panch constituencies which went to poll in the second phase is being conducted immediately after the close of poll and results shall be declared then and there only.
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