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DDC Election in Jammu and Kashmir: 1st Poll post scrapping of art 370 sees 52 per cent voting
In the first electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370, nearly 52 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Saturday in the staggered polls to district development councils.
The first round of polling in the eight-phase maiden DDC elections passed off peacefully, except for a minor incident of stone-pelting in Kulgam, officials said. “A voter percentage of 51.76 was recorded in the first phase -- 64.2 percent in Jammu division and 40.65 percent in Kashmir division,” State Election Commissioner K K Sharma said.
Reasi in Jammu recorded the highest voter turnout of 74.62 percent while militancy-infested Pulwama in south Kashmir witnessed the least voter participation at 6.7 percent. In Kashmir, Budgam recorded the highest poll percentage of 56.96 percent. “Enthusiasm among the voters was witnessed in all the 43 DDC constituencies which went to polls today including 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu region. “The men, women and young voters thronged the polling stations, adhering to the COVID-19 protocols,” Sharma said. Barring a minor stone-pelting incident in Kulgam district of south Kashmir, the overall polling concluded peacefully with voters showing enthusiasm despite the morning chill, he said. The election is witnessing a triangular contest among the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of parties that are seeking restoration of Article 370, the BJP and the Apni Party floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari. In the first phase, as many as 1,475 candidates are in the fray, according to officials. The voting for the newly-envisaged DDCs also coincided with bypolls to panchayats. Sharma said the voting percentage with regard to panch and sarpanch seats was being compiled. He said the counting of votes for the DDC constituencies will be taken on December 22.
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