Kashmir recorded 30.3 per cent voting while Jammu region witnessed an impressive turnout of 84.8 per cent in the seventh phase of the Jammu and Kashmir panchayat elections Tuesday where some people suffered minor injuries in a clash between rival groups, officials said. State Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said the state recorded over 75.3 per cent polling held in 12 districts across 2,714 polling stations, including 2,138 in Jammu division and 576 in Kashmir division.
Official sources said a clash between supporters of rival candidates broke out at Gursai Tami panchayat in Mendhar block of Poonch district, but failed to have any impact on the voting. Some persons suffered minor injuries in the incident as police used mild baton charge to restore situation, the sources said.
Giving district-wise details, Kabra said Kupwara district topped the turnout chart in Kashmir Valley with 45.0 per cent electorate casting their ballot followed by Ganderbal (30.9), Bandipora (25.2), Baramulla (17.8), Anantnag (15.5) and Budgam (13.1). In Jammu region, Reasi district recorded 86.7 per cent turnout followed by Poonch (86.6), Samba (85.5), Rajouri (84.0), Jammu (83.7) and Ramban (83.0), Kabra said.
He said 892 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive in this phase, including 428 in Kashmir division and 464 in Jammu division. The polling began at 8 am and end at 2 pm, sealing the fate of 5,575 candidates for 341 sarpanch constituencies and 1,798 panch seats, Kabra said, adding 85 sarpanchs and 912 panchs have already been elected unopposed in this phase.
He said an electorate of 4,75,865 were eligible to vote for sarpanch constituencies and 3,45,880 voters for panch constituencies. Major regional parties — the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party — had decided not to participate in the local bodies polls. The nine-phased panchayat elections commenced on November 17 and are scheduled to end on December 11.
In the previous six phases, an overall voter turnout of 73.6 per cent has been recorded across the state, with a poll percentage of 46.1 per cent in Kashmir division and 82.8 per cent in Jammu division, Kabra said. In the sixth phase of the panchayat polls held on December 1, overall poll percentage of 76.9 per cent — highest in all phases so far — was witnessed across the state, including 84.6 per cent in Jammu division and 17.3 per cent in Kashmir division.
Kabra said results have been announced for all the six phases by the respective returning officers.