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Over 51.5% votes polled in 6th phase of J-K DDC polls

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JAMMU: Over 51.5 per cent of 7.48 lakh electorates exercised their franchise on Sunday in the sixth phase of the District Development Council elections, which covered 31 constituencies spread over 18 districts of Jammu and Kashmir, State Election Commissioner K K Sharma said.

The polling started at 7 am and ended at 2 pm peacefully across the Union Territory, with Jammu Division recording 68.56 per cent voting and Kashmir Division registering 31.55 per cent, Sharma told reporters here.

He said Poonch district in Jammu recorded the highest voter turnout of 76.78 per cent, while Shopian district in south Kashmir the lowest at 4.60 per cent.

In Jammu Division, where most parts were engulfed by dense fog early in the morning, enthusiastic voters started thronging the polling booths even before the start of the voting.

Poonch district was followed in the voter turnout by Rajouri at 74.03 per cent, Reasi 74.02 per cent, Udhampur 72.04 per cent, Ramban 71.34 per cent, Samba 70.01 per cent, Jammu 66.32 per cent, Doda 62.93 per cent and Kathua 60.95 per cent, Sharma said.

Similarly, in Kashmir Division, where most parts are reeling under sub-zero temperatures after the recent snowfall, Ganderbal recorded a voter turnout of 58.45 per cent, followed by Kupwara (51.08 per cent), Bandipora (47.66), Kulgam (37.74), Baramulla (34.56), Budgam (30.99), Anantnag (24.06), Pulwama (8.16) and Shopian (4.60), he said.

In the sixth phase of the DDC polls, voting was held in 31 DDC constituencies — 14 in Kashmir Division and 17 in Jammu Division.

For smooth conduct of the elections, 2,071 polling stations — 1,208 in Kashmir Division and 863 in Jammu Division – were been set up for this phase, where 7,48,301 electors — 3,90,432 male and 3,57,869 female voters — were eligible to exercise their right to franchise.

The maiden DDC elections, to be conducted in eight phases, commenced on November 28, and so far voters in 221 constituencies, out of total 280 across 20 districts, have registered their choice.

While the first phase on November 28 recorded the highest 51.76 per cent polling, the subsequent phases on December 1, 4, 7 and 10 witnessed 48.62 per cent, 50.53 per cent, 50.08 per cent and 51.20 per cent polling, respectively.

The DDC polls, which are being held along with by-elections to panchayats, is the first democratic exercise in Jammu and Kashmir since it was made a Union Territory last year.

Counting of votes is slated to take place on December 22.

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