DDC elections: 22.12 % votes polled till 11 am across J&K; Shopian records highest 29.24% in Kashmir

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The first phase of DDC elections 2020 recorded a voter percentage of 22.12 % across different constituencies spread over all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir till 11:00 AM.

As per the figures given by the office of State Election Commissioner, in Kashmir Division, Kupwara has recorded voting percentage of 13.492%, Bandipora 17.874%, Baramulla 12.196%, Ganderbal 23.144%, Srinagar 10.641%, Budgam 28.472%, Pulwama 3.514 %, Shopian 29.341%, Kulgam 14.911% and Anantnag 23.462% till 11.00 am.

Similarly, in Jammu division, Kishtwar has recorded voting percentage of 14.436%, Doda 25.181%, Ramban 33.392%, Reasi  30.346%, Udhampur 22.432 %, Kathua 24.262%, Samba 36.403%, Jammu 29.166 %, Rajouri 33.178% and Poonch 32.113% till 11:00 AM.

The election is being seen as a triangular contest between the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) — an amalgam of several mainstream political parties, including the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which are seeking the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status revoked by the Centre last year — and the BJP, and Apni Party floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.

Due to the cold weather, little enthusiasm was seen at the polling stations as the voting began at 7 am, officials said.

The polling has begun for the DDC polls and bypolls to panchyats and urban local bodies across Jammu and Kashmir for the first phase of the eight phase process, the officials said.

As many as 1,475 candidates are in the fray for the first phase of the polls, the officials said.

Out of these, 296 candidates are contesting the first phase of the DDC polls in the union territory, they said, adding 172 were from the Kashmir valley and 124 from the Jammu region.

In the first phase of the DDC elections, 43 constituencies will go to polls, including 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu, the officials said.

For the bypolls to Panchayats, 899 candidates are in the fray for the Panch seats and 280 for the sarpanch seats, they added.

A total of 2,644 polling stations have been set up and there are 7,03,620 electors for this phase, the officials said.

The bypolls are also being held for four wards of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and the municipal bodies of Pahalgam and Aishmuqam in Anantnag district. The voting for the first phase will end at 2 pm, they said.

There are 280 DDC seats in the Union Territory including 140 each in Jammu and Kashmir regions, the officials said. Fourteen constituencies have been earmarked in each of the 20 districts of the UT, they said.

The bypolls to the 12,153 Panchayat constituencies are also taking place along with the DDC polls. Out of these a major portion 11,814 are in the Kashmir valley, while 339 are in Jammu, they said.