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J-K panchayat polls: Budgam clocks highest voter turnout till 10 am

ANI | Updated: Nov 27, 2018 15:39 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Nov 27 (ANI): Notwithstanding terror threats and boycott calls by two major political parties of the region, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), voters have come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise in the fourth phase of the panchayat polls being held in the state. Security has been heightened across the state for peaceful elections and majority of the candidates have been provided with security.
Till 10 am, Budgam witnessed the highest voter turnout of 29.1 per cent in Beerwah and Waterhail blocks, Baramulla saw 26.8 per cent voter turnout in Bijhama and Wailoo blocks and Kishtwar district registered 26.8 per cent.
Poonch, Kathua and Rajouri districts have recorded 26.1 per cent, 26 per cent and 23.2 per cent voter turnout, respectively. Ramban witnessed 22.8 per cent turnout while Doda registered 21.7 per cent turnout.
However, the voting percentage was abysmally low in Kulgam, Bandipora, Anantnag and Pulwama, with voter turnouts of 3.7 per cent, 3.2 per cent, 2.6 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively.
The polling, which commenced at 8 am, will conclude at 2 pm.
After withdrawal and scrutiny, over 5400 candidates are in the fray for 339 Sarpanch and 1749 Panch seats in the fourth phase. So far, 99 Sarpanchs and 969 Panchs have been elected unopposed.
This is the first time in the fourth phase that as many as 17 districts out of 22 have gone for elections in a single phase. The previous three phases were confined to only 14 to 15 districts.
Areas going to polls in this phase, a total of 4.72 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise for Sarpanch constituencies while over 3.32 lakh will be voting for Panch constituencies.
The overall turnout for the third phase of Panchayat body elections which concluded peacefully on November 24 was 75 per cent. (ANI)