Panchayat polls 2018 LIVE: Over 66 per cent voter turnout recorded in Kupwara

Voting began in Kashmir valley on Saturday morning amid a shutdown called by the separatists against the Panchayat polls.

GK Web Desk
Jammu/Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 17 2018 10:10AM | Updated Date: Nov 17 2018 7:47PM
Panchayat polls 2018 LIVE: Over 66 per cent voter turnout recorded in KupwaraVoters at a polling station in Balhama. Mubashir Khan/GK

Voting for the first phase of panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir began at 8 am on Friday amid high security in the wake of boycott call by joint resistance leadership.

427 candidates are in the fray for 536 Sarpanch Halqas and 5,951 candidates for 4,048 Panch wards for first phase of the Panchayat polls, said an official.

Updates:

2PM:

66.46 per cent voting recorded in five blocks of Kupwara district

12 PM:

Srinagar 19%

Ganderbal 9.7%

Budgam 11.9%

Baramulla 36.5%

Kupwara 35.2%

Handwara 28%

Bandipora 42%

Leh 23.6%

Kargil 14.6%

Kishtwar 54.7

Doda 60.1%

Ramban 69.4%

Udhampur 50.9%

Kathua 62.9%

Rajouri 62.9

Poonch 50

11 AM: 

Srinagar 13.7 %

Ganderbal 8.3 %

Budgam 12%

Baramulla 12.5 %

Kupwara 33.6%

Handwara 28%

Bandipora 11.9%

Sopore 7.6%

Leh 9.5%

Kargil 13.2%

10 AM:

10 per cent polling was recorded in north Kashmir's Baramulla district until 10 am in the first phase of the Jammu and Kashmir panchayat elections which began on Saturday under tight security arrangements.

3 per cent polling was recorded in Kupwara district until 10 AM.

Voting started at 8 a.m. and will end on 2 p.m.

Very few voters were seen outside polling stations in the valley while voters started coming out in good numbers in the Jammu region.

Fifteen districts of the state -- seven in Jammu region, six in valley, two in Ladakh -- were going to the polls. There were a total of 3,296 polling stations -- 1,303 in the valley and 1,993 in the Jammu region.

In Jammu region, Saturday's polls were being held in Doda, Ramban, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Kathua, Samba and Jammu district while in the valley it was taking place in Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Badgam and Srinagar districts.

Polling is also scheduled today in Ladakh's Leh and Kargil districts.

The state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said 5,585 candidates were in the fray for for 420 sarpanch and 1,845 panch posts in the first phase. 

He said 85 sarpanchs and 1,676 panchs were already been elected unopposed.

Keeping the ground situtaion in mind, Kabra said 491 polling stations in the valley and 196 in the Jammu division have been declared as hypersensitive.

Contingent plans have been drawn for polling stations close to the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border so that these can be shifted to other places in case of a ceasefire violation.

Heavy deployments of police and central paramilitary forces have been made to ensure a peaceful polling process.

Separatists have called for a protest shutdown on Saturday asking the people to stay away from these elections.

This is the first of the nine-phased panchayat polls.

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