LIVE: Municipal polls in JK: 56.7 percent polling across the state in first phase, says CEO

Representative Photo.

Srinagar: Voting for the first phase of municipal polls began on Monday amid heightened security in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K Shaleen Kabra, the overall polling percentage across the state in the first phase of Municipal Polls-2018 has been recorded at 56.7 percent.

According to the official figures, poll percentage at 4:00 on Monday is as below:

Srinagar recorded 6.2 per cent polling; Baramulla 5.1 per cent; Jammu district: 63.83; Kargil 78.2; Leh: 55.2; Poonch 73.1; Rajouri 81 per cent. 109 votes polled out of 642 in Budgam at the end of voting at 4 pm (17 per cent). 32.30 per cent votes were polled in Kupwara till 4 pm and 3.38 per cent votes polled in Bandipora.

2:45 pm: With a voter turnout of 73.6 percent, Kargil has topped the list till noon followed by Rajouri with 67.7 percent. In Poonch, it was 63.5 and 44.2 in Leh at 1 pm in the first phase of 4-phased urban local body and municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The percentage in the other districts of Jammu and Kashmir till noon were:

Anantnag (6.1%), Budgam (12%), Bandipora (2.5%), Baramulla (3.7%), Kupwara (26.3%), Srinagar (5.1%), Leh (44.2%), Kargil (73.6%), Jammu (43.4%), Poonch (63.5%), Rajouri (67.7%).

1:45 PM: Till 1 pm, Kupwara recorded 29.23 percent turnout and it was 21.45 percent in Handwara district. In Baramulla, out of 26149 votes, a total of 964 were polled and 419 votes were cast in Bandipora until 1pm.

12:45 pm: According to the official voter turnout till noon, Kupwara district recorded this highest with 18 percent.

Anantnag (5%), Budgam (3%),  Baramulla (3%), Kupwara (18%), Srinagar (3.5%), Leh (26%), Kargil (33%), Jammu (34%), Poonch (47%), Rajouri (55%).

Till 11 am, district Bandipora, had recorded 2 percent voting, the lowest in the valley.

11:58 am: In Bandipora, a presiding officer was suspended by the district magistrate for allowing a woman to accompany a voter up to the voting compartment in Kaloosa.

11:45 am: Amid a complete valley wide shutdown, 15 percent voting was recording in Kupwara. In Budgam district, 642 votes were cast. In Srinagar, 1001 votes were recorded. In Baramulla, it was 618, Bandipora recorded 330. In Handwara, 732 votes were polled.

In Kagril, it was 3470 and in Leh, 3164.

11:20 am: Internet barred in South Kashmir, 2G speed for the rest of valley 

In wake of the Municipal polls, mobile internet service has been suspended in south Kashmir while the speed has been reduced to 2G in rest of the valley. The step has been taken as a ‘precautionary measure’.

Polling till 10:30: Kargil, Ladakh witness moderate polling 

489 votes were polled at different booths at Baramulla, 457 in Srinagar, 260 in Bandipora, 476 in Handwara, 61 in Anantnag, 18 in Budgam till 10:30 am. Polling was picking up in Kupwara, where 868 votes were cast till 10:30 am.

In Kargil 2650 were polled and in Leh 2138 voters turned up till 10:30 am.

10:30: 1.39 percent voting in Bandipora

In Bandipora, till 10 am, 1.39 percent voting was registered. Giving a gender-wise breakup, an official said that 173 males and 87 females exercised their franchise.

In Baramulla town, 5 booths recorded no polling at all. 56 votes were cast at ten polling booths so far. in the first hour of voting, 48 votes were cast in 13 wards of Bandipora municipal committee.

At 9:30 am, 218 votes (0.83 %) were cast in nine wards of Baramulla and  189 votes (1.10%) in Bandipora. In Jammu, 15 per cent votes were polled in Jammu Municipal Corporation until 9 am.

Both the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, the two biggest regional political outfits have decided to boycott the elections as they have asked the Government of India to clear its stand on the issue of Article 35-A.

Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh recently  appealed political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the upcoming Panchayat and local body polls.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also decided not to participate in the polls keeping in view the prevailing situation in the valley.

State Secretary CPI(M) Ghulam Nabi Malik, in a statement said that despite majority of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir deciding not to participate in these polls shows the arrogance of the BJP-led Central Government.

The Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL) while reiterating their call of ULB, Panchayat polls said that  it is a “political gimmick to hoodwink international community”.

Congress, however decided to take part in the polls to keep ‘communal forces away.’

Moreover Sajad Lone’s Poeples Conference has also decided to take part in the upcoming civic polls.

The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the regional political parties have boycotted the upcoming Municipal and Panchayat elections due to fear, and added that they have apprehensions that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National conference (NC) will field proxy candidates in the polls.

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