Poll Boycott trend continues for 2nd Phase; Dull voting across Kashmir Valley, brisk in Jammu

The second phase of urban bodies’ elections in Jammu and Kashmir, being held on Wednesday, covers 384 wards and has 1,094 candidates in the fray. Separatists have given a call for a shutdown in the areas going to the polls.

Polling in the second phase of urban local bodies’ elections, covering more than 380 local bodies spread over 13 districts of Jammu and Kashmir, is being held on Wednesday.
This phase covers 384 wards (166 in Kashmir and 218 in Jammu) spanning six districts in Jammu and seven in the Valley and has 1,094 candidates in the fray. Of these, 65 candidates, including 61 in Kashmir, have won the polls uncontested. No polling will take place at 56 wards in the Valley as no nomination was received.
The polling time for the second phase has been increased by one hour. It began at 6 am and will continue till 4 pm.
The elections, being held in four phases, began on October 8 and will end on October 16.
Separatists have asked people to observe a shutdown in the areas going to polls in second phase in these “sham elections”. Two main regional parties, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, have boycotted the polls.
The first phase on Monday saw a voter turnout of 8.3% in the Kashmir Valley, while more than 65% of the electorate voted in the Jammu and Ladakh divisions.
Kathua deputy commissioner, Rohit Khajuria, however, said tight security arrangements have been made and central forces stationed at polling stations to help carry out free and fair polls. “We are hopeful of a good voter turnout in a peaceful atmosphere,” he said.

The Municipal Committee Sumbal has recorded 33 per cent voting till 3 pm, highest in Kashmir valley in the ongoing second phase of Urban Local Bodies’ elections.
According to polling figures, the total votes polled in Sumbal till 3 pm were 2624—1392 male votes and 1232 female votes.
2:20: Municipal Polls-2018 (Phase-II): Poll percentage at 12 noon released by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K
Anantnag 0.8 per cent; Bandipora 22.2 per cent; Baramulla 3.7 per cent; Kupwara 3.3 per cent; Srinagar 1.4 per cent; Kishtwar 55.9 per cent; Doda 57.8 per cent; Ramban 62.9 per cent; Reasi 60.8 per cent; Udhampur 50.8 per cent; Kathua 59.4 per cent.
12:20 PM: Brisk polling in Sumbal Muncipal Committee, 22 per cent poling recorded till 12 noon.

An estimated 57 per cent of over 1.28 lakh electorate Wednesday cast their votes in the first six hours of polling in the second phase of the four-phased urban local bodies elections in the region, officials said.
The voting covering six districts of Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua recorded a turnout of 57 per cent till 12 pm, the officials said, quoting information from district elections offices.

“Brisk polling is going on and there was no report of any untoward incidents reported from anywhere,” the officials said.
Ramban district is leading the voter turnout chart with 62.9 per cent, out of 5533 electorate, exercising their franchise followed by Reasi (60.8 per cent of 10204 voters), Kathua (59.4 per cent of 54,622 voters), Doda (57.8 per cent of 13396 voters), Kishtwar (55.9 per cent of 8830 voters) and Udhampur (59.4 per cent of 35,519 voters), they said.
The polling will seal the fate of 881 candidates for 214 wards, while four candidates have been elected unopposed in this phase in Jammu region.

Long queues were witnessed outside the polling stations across all the districts since this morning to select their local representatives.
The first phase of the polling was held on October 8 after a gap of 13 years and registered a voter turnout of 56.6 per cent.
The third phase of the polling is scheduled for October 13 followed by fourth and final phase on October 16. The counting of votes will be held on October 20.

Voting percentage till 10 am:
Anantnag (0.6), Bandipora (14.2), Baramulla (1.1), Kupwara (3.0), Srinagar (0.8), Kishtwar (34.1), Doda (36.5), Ramban (35.1), Reasi (35.7), Udhampur (30.2) and Kathua (39.4)
10:22 AM: 14.16 per cent polling recorded in MC Sumbal till 10 am
9:50 AM: Nine votes out of 10,000 cast until 9 AM in Fateh Kadal in Downtown Srinagar
Votes polled till 9AM:
Batamaloo Ziyarat 10; SD colony Batmaloo 04: Aloochi Bagh 66; Karan Nagar 0; Solina 143
9:30 AM: 9.41 per cent votes polled until 9 AM in Municipal Committee Sumbal: 2.61 per cent votes polled in MC Langate until 9AM
9AM: 12.43 votes polled until 8 am in MC Banihal. Shutdown in poll bound areas on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership
Voting began at 6 am on Wednesday morning amid stringent security arrangements, officials said.
They said the voting would take place at 544 polling stations across the state and would end at 4 pm.
The officials said 1,029 candidates – 881 in Jammu division and 148 in Kashmir division – are in the fray for 263 municipal wards, including 49 in Kashmir and 214 in Jammu.
A total of 65 candidates – 61 of them from Kashmir valley – have already won the polls uncontested, while in 56 wards all in the valley – no nomination was received, so no polling is taking place in those places, they said.
As many as 270 polling stations have been designated for voting in Kashmir Division and 274 in Jammu Division, they added.
The officials said the total electorate in these wards is 346,980 – 128,104 in Jammu Division belonging to 18 Municipal bodies and 218,876 in Kashmir Division of five Municipal bodies.
They said massive security arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polls.
The elections, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh, are being held in four phases.
A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1,145 wards. The next phases will take place on October 13 and 16.
The National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the CPI(M) have boycotted the polls to protest the the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas concerned to enable voters cast their vote.