Overall poll percentage in all four phases 35.1 pc
STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: Continuing the trend of low voter turnout, just 4.2 per cent electorate on Tuesday turned up in the final phase of Urban Local Bodies elections in terrorists-wracked Kashmir Valley, drawing curtains on the four-phased polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K, Shaleen Kabra said Ganderbal witnessed 11.3 pc polling in 12 Wards where 38 candidates are in the fray. He said Srinagar witnessed 4 pc polling where 24 Wards went to polls today.
The CEO said repoll was also held today at Polling Station No: 9 Bachidarwaza of Makhdoom Sahab (Ward No: 41) where 5 candidates are in the fray.
Ganderbal- 11.3 %
Srinagar – 4.0 %
Total (Phase-IV)- 4.2%
All four phases- 35.1 %
He said the cumulative poll percentage in all the four phases is 35.1 pc.
The counting of votes will be held on October 20, 2018, for which, Kabra said, all arrangements have been put in place. Polling began at 6:00 AM this morning amidst stringent security arrangements at 308 polling stations in the twin districts of Srinagar and Ganderbal and ended at 4:00 PM.
Out of 2.42 lakh voters in 24 wards of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, only 9,678 (four per cent) turned up at heavily-fortified polling stations, officials said.
In Ganderbal, 10.8 per cent of 8,908 voters exercised their franchise.
Eight municipal bodies across six districts-all in the Kashmir Valley were scheduled to go to polls in the final phase of the elections. However, only two bodies witnessed voting as the six were either won unopposed or no nominations were submitted.
In the fourth phase, 151 candidates were in the fray for 36 wards of the two urban local bodies, the officials said.
For 24 wards of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) with a total electorate of 2,41,043, a total of 113 candidates were in the fray and 295 polling stations were established for the purpose, the officials said.
Repolling was also held at polling station number nine – Bachidarwaza of Makhdoom Sahab (ward number 41) – where five candidates were in the fray with a total electorate of 1,260. Only 262 votes were cast today.
The officials said massive security arrangements were put in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.
The polls were announced last month but two major political parties — the National Conference (NC) and the PDP — boycotted the elections accusing the Centre of not taking a firm stand on the protection of Article 35A of the Constitution which is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
Terrorists had issued threats to anyone participating in these polls, resulting in absence of any campaigning by the candidates. They had also killed two NC workers.
The voter turnout in the first three phases of the civic polls in the valley has been low. While 8.3 per cent of the electorate turned up to vote in the 83 wards in the first phase on October 8, the poll percentage fell to an abysmal 3.4 per cent in the second phase held on October 10. The third phase of polling for civic bodies in Kashmir on October 13 also witnessed a low turnout of just 3.49 per cent.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper