Just 3.49 per cent of the electorate voted in the third-phase of the urban local body polls in militancy-hit Kashmir Valley, while a high turnout of 80 per cent was recorded in Jammu's Samba district, officials said Saturday.
A total of 365 candidates were in the fray for the third phase across 96 wards. According to Election Commission (EC) officials, a total of 411 candidates were originally to contest for 207 wards in the third phase however, candidates from 49 wards in Kashmir were elected unopposed while no nominations were filed for 62 wards in the militancy-riddled Valley. “Now, a total of 365 candidates are in fray for 96 wards in the state. Of these, 242 candidates are contesting from 56 wards of Jammu while 120 candidates are in fray for 40 wards in the Valley, the official said.
The government had declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.
The counting of votes will be held on October 20.
03:41 pm: Jammu and Kashmir local body elections: Voter turnout recorded till 2 pm - Baramulla-72.7%, Samba-73.9%, Anantnag-2.7% and Srinagar- 1.5%
03:00 pm: Voter turnout recorded till 12 noon in Baramulla-59.6%, Samba-59.1%, Anantnag-2.5% and Srinagar- 1.2%, during the third phase of local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
02:50 pm: Speaking to PTI, Samba district election officer Sushma Chauhan said, "Voting is underway smoothly in all the four municipal committees of Samba, Ramgarh, Vijaypur and Bari-Brahmana and so far 59.39 per cent of 31,878 electorates have exercised their franchise in the 57 polling stations set up across the district till 12 am."
2:03 pm: Today's polling in Samba will complete the ULB elections in all the 10 districts of Jammu region which recorded a high-voter turnout in the first two phases.
2:00 pm: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and NC leader Omar Abdullah said, "From the highest turnouts since 1987 in 2014 to the lowest turnouts ever recorded in 2018, why is the Modi government able to get away with its disastrous handling of Kashmir almost unquestioned?"
From the highest turnouts since 1987 in 2014 to the lowest turnouts ever recorded in 2018 why is the Modi government able to get away with its disastrous handing of Kashmir almost unquestioned?— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 13, 2018
12:20 pm: CEO Shaleen Kabra said observers have been deployed, including micro-observers at 222 hypersensitive polling stations in the Kashmir Division and 19 in Jammu Division. The CEO added that Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations across the state. "Deputy commissioners are undertaking videography of all critical events related to the poll process," Kabra said.
11:45 am: Voter turnout report at 10 am- Anantag-2.1 per cent, Baramula-35.1, Srinagar-0.9, Sambha 40.3 per cent
11:40 am: "Control Rooms have been established in all the municipal bodies across the state to respond promptly to any complaints of violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) as also to disseminate information to the public," Shaleen Kabra, the state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), was quoted as saying by IANS.
11:30 am: Heavy polling is underway in Uri municipal committee of Baramulla district where 908 of the 3,552 voters have already cast their votes. The poll percentage in the first three hours of polling was 25.6 per cent.
11:10 am: In Anantnag district, only 100 of the 5,469 votes have been polled in the first three hours of polling, officials told PTI.
11:00 am: Lower voter turnout in Srinagar.The 20 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, where voting is underway, have witnessed only 0.8 per cent of the 1.53 lakh voters turn up at the polling stations, officials told PTI.
10:40 am: Brisk polling was recorded in Uri municipal committee in the third phase of ongoing Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls in Jammu and Kashmir. An official said that 35.11 per cent polling was recorded till 10: am Uri municipal area.Out of 3552, 1247 votes were polled till 10 am,” he said. Polling began at 6:m for third phase of civic elections in 96 wards in in the state.
09:20 am: High time some ppl get off the moral high horse, anybody who disagrees with the two regional parties is labelled a BJP puppet by them, the fact is both NC and PDP have been in alliance with BJP before. So It is hilarious: Junaid Mattu, Independent Candidate
09:00 am: Independent Candidate and former National Conference leader Junaid Azim Mattu who resigned from NC disagreeing over decision to boycott local body polls, casts his vote in Srinagar's Barzulla.
Independent Candidate and former National Conference leader Junaid Azim Mattu who resigned from NC disagreeing over decision to boycott local body polls, casts his vote in Srinagar's Barzulla. #jammukashmirelection pic.twitter.com/gJNEAUqyfb— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2018
07:40 am: Voting underway for the third phase of urban local body polls in Baramulla's Uri. This is the first municipal elections where Kashmiri migrants are able to exercise their franchise after the ECI allowed them to cast their votes through postal ballots.
06:25 am: Jammu & Kashmir: Voting underway for 96 wards in the third phase of urban local body polls. While 8.3 per cent of the electorate turned up to vote in the 83 wards in the first phase on October 8, the poll percentage fell to an abysmal 3.4 per cent in the second phase held on October 10. There was no report of any untoward incident from any part of the region. The fourth and final phase polling will be held on October 16. The results will be declared on October 20.
06:20 am: Voting underway for the thrid phase of elections. The local civic body elections are taking place in the militancy-hit Valley after 13 years.
NC, PDP BOYCOTT POLLS
The local civic body elections – taking place in the militancy-hit Valley after 13 years – has been boycotted by two main regional parties — the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), demanding Centre’s clear stand on protection of Article 35-A of the Constitution, which gives special rights to the people in the state and bars outsiders from owning immovable property.
The PDP, which till recently was an ally of the BJP had announced that it will boycott forthcoming polls, saying the security situation was not conducive for holding these polls. The PDP’s decision to boycott local body elections comes after its arch-rival, the National Conference, announced not to contest the polls until the Centre and the governor administration clarify its position on Article 35-A, which is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had on August 31 deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, as the Centre had urged the court to take up the matter after panchayat elections in the state.
JAMMU AND KASHMIR MUNICIPAL POLLS
The Municipal Elections are being held in four phases. The first phase polling was held on Monday while the second phase took place on Wednesday. The voter turnout in the first two phases of the civic polls has been extremely low. While 8.3 per cent of the electorate turned up to vote in the 83 wards in the first phase on October 8, the poll percentage fell to an abysmal 3.4 per cent in the second phase held on October 10. There was no report of any untoward incident from any part of the region. The fourth and final phase polling will be held on October 16. The results will be declared on October 20.
This is the first municipal elections where Kashmiri migrants are able to exercise their franchise after the ECI allowed them to cast their votes through postal ballots. The last poll to the Municipal bodies in the state was held in 2005 through ballots and the five-year term expired in February 2010.