The fifth phase of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat elections recorded an impressive voter turnout of 71.1 per cent on Thursday. While the Jammu division registered more than 85.2 per cent voting till this afternoon polling percentage was way below at 33.7 per cent in Kashmir. The fifth phase of Panchayat elections began at 8 am and continued till 2 pm in 2,512 polling booths, including 1,743 stations in Jammu and 769 in Kashmir division.
“71.1% voter turnout recorded for the 5th phase of polling for Panchayat elections; 85.2% voters cast vote in Jammu division and 33.7% in Kashmir division,” the news agency ANI reported.
Poonch district in Jammu region recorded the highest polling of 72 per cent, while Pulwama district in central Kashmir recorded the lowest at 0.2 per cent, according to officials.
Among other districts of Jammu division Ramban, Rajouri and Udhampur witnessed 63.9, 60.4 and 60.3 per cent polling, respectively. It was followed by Reasi 56.2 per cent and Doda 55.9 per cent.
In Kashmir division, Kupwara district topped the turnout chart with 30.7 per cent, followed by Bandipora with 30 per cent, Badgam 29.8 per cent, Baramulla 26.1 per cent Ganderbal 13.2 per cent and Anantnag with 6.7 per cent, they said.
About 848 polling stations have been categorised as 'hypersensitive', including 755 in Kashmir division and 93 in Jammu division.
As many as 4,763 candidates are in the fray for 309 sarpanch and 1,534 panch seats in the fifth phase, while 118 sarpanches and 1,046 panches have been elected unopposed.
The Panchayat elections are being held in nine phases across the state with the last and ninth phase of polling slated for December 1. All the five phases of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat elections witnessed impressive voter turnouts despite terror threat and boycott called by two mainstream regional parties - Farooq Abdullah's National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mehbooba Mufti.