Srinagar, Dec 7 (Representative) Around 8.16 per cent electorate exercised their franchise in 34 constituencies till 0900 hrs on Monday during the fourth phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Samba recorded the highest voter turnout of 16.30 per cent while the lowest votes were polled in Shopian and Kulgam at 0.57 per cent each till 0900 hrs on Monday. An official spokesperson said that Kupwara has recorded voting percentage of 5.14 per cent, Bandipora 7.56 per cent, Baramulla 7.17 per cent, Ganderbal 3.77 per cent, Budgam 6.56 per cent, Pulwama 1.39 per cent and Anantnag 2.77 per cent till 0900 hrs.
Similarly, he said in Jammu division, Kishtwar has recorded voting percentage of 13.05 per cent, Doda 12.99 per cent, Ramban 9.92 per cent, Reasi 7.99 per cent, Kathua 14.55 per cent, Jammu 14.25 per cent, Rajouri 13.63 per cent and Poonch 13.74 per cent till 0900 hrs. “Kashmir Division recorded an overall polling percentage of 4.21 per cent while Jammu Division recorded 12.29 per cent upto 0900 hrs,” he said. He said in the fourth Phase, election is going on in 34 DDC constituencies, including 17 each from Jammu division and Kashmir division. “Along with this, by polls to 50 vacant Sarpanch seats and 216 vacant Panch seats falling within these DDC constituencies was also being conducted in this phase,” he said. Of the total 280 DDC constituencies in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, 34 are going to poll in the fourth phase. “There are 138 candidates, including 48 females, in fray for the 17 DDC constituencies of Kashmir division. In Jammu division, there are 111 candidates in fray for the 17 DDC constituencies in this phase, including 34 females,” he said.
“There were 123 Sarpanch vacancies notified in the fourth phase and out of these 45 have got filled unopposed. Voting is underway in 50 constituencies and 137 candidates including 47 females are in fray,” he said. Similarly, he said out of the total 1207 Panch vacancies notified in this phase, 416 have got filled unopposed and there is no contest in these constituencies. “Polling is taking place in 216 panch constituencies and there are 478 candidates in fray including 129 females,” he said. He said in the fourth phase, 717322 electors are eligible to cast their votes including 376797 males and 340525 females. Amongst these 350149 are from Jammu division and 367173 are from Kashmir division.
“There are 1910 polling stations setup across the UT for this phase out of which 781 are in Jammu division and 1129 are in Kashmir division. Out of these 1910 polling stations, polling is underway for Sarpanch vacancies in 212 polling stations and Panch vacancies in 219 polling stations, along with the DDC polls. Out of the 1910 polling stations 1152 are Hyper sensitive, 349 are sensitive and 409 have been categorized as normal,” he added. Polling for this phase started from 0700 hrs and will end at 1400 hrs. “In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure safety of all stake holders including the voters coming to vote at the polling stations. Sanitizers, thermal scanners and face masks have been arranged at the polling stations to ensure that SOPs issued by the concerned authorities, including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, are strictly followed at the polling stations,” he said. He said special Polling Stations at Women College Gandhinagar, Jammu and Girls Higher Secondary School Udhampur have been set up to facilitate physical voting by Kashmiri Migrants.