Over 3.21 lakh people vote in last phase of DDC elections

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State Election Commissioner KK Sharma at a press conference. (Photo/ANI)
State Election Commissioner KK Sharma at a press conference. (Photo/ANI)

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], December 19 (ANI): The eighth and last phase of the District Development Council (DDC) election came to an end on Saturday with over 3.21 lakh people coming out to exercise their right to vote.

According to State Election Commissioner KK Sharma, as many as 3,21,694 voters, including 1,52,423 women and 1,29,271 men cast their votes.

As many as 2,25,828 votes were recorded in 13 constituencies that went to polls today in the Jammu division, while 95,866 votes were reported in 15 constituencies of Kashmir.

"Although voting took place from 7 am to 2 pm, several poll booths remained open as many people continued to stand in lines, waiting for their turn, despite cold temperatures," Sharma said.

The overall voting percentage was recorded at 50.98 per cent-- 72.71 per cent in Jammu and 29.91 per cent in Kashmir.

In Kashmir, Kupwara reported the highest voter turnout with 63.8 per cent, followed by Bandipora with 56.5 per cent, Baramulla with 44.6 per cent, Budgam with 35.1 per cent, Kulgam with 11.2 per cent, Anantnag with 8.6 per cent, Shopian with 8.58 per cent, and Pulwama with 8.50 per cent.

Significantly higher numbers were reported in Jammu, with Poonch topping the highest turnout at 83.58 per cent, followed by Reasi, Rajour, Kathua, Samba, Kishtwar, Ramban, Doda, Jammu and Udhampur, with 81.92, 77.31, 73.93, 73.65, 73.45, 73.42, 70.33, 69.39 and 60.49 respectively.

"While very few untoward incidents took place in this phase, there were a few attempts of intimidation at a few polling stations where ballot papers were torn. Re-polling will be done in the affected stations," he said.

He said that contesting candidates who had doubts about the process had the right to take recourse to law and would have to bring an appeal with relevant evidence like CCTV footage.

"It is reassuring that so many people came to vote in the first-ever DDC election with enthusiasm. It is evident that people here, particularly in rural areas want to participate in the development process," he said.

Polling was also held in 84 sarpanch constituencies and 285 Panch constituencies at 1,703 polling stations including 1,028 in Kashmir and 675 in Jammu.

In the seventh phase, the polling percentage went up to 57.22 per cent and in previous phases, it varied from 48 to 51 percent. (ANI)