The third phase of the Jammu and Kashmir urban local body elections began across 300 polling stations at 6 am on Saturday amid stringent security measures. As many as 365 candidates are in the fray for the elections. A thick security blanket has been thrown around the polling stations, while security forces are conducting area domination exercises to ensure an incident-free election, officials said.
Out of the 300 polling stations, 241 stations – 222 in the Kashmir Division and 19 in Jammu Division – have been categorised hypersensitive, police said. Ninety-six wards of eight urban local bodies, comprising a total electorate of 1,93,990 electors, are scheduled to go to polls.
Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Election 2018 Voting HIGHLIGHTS: The third phase of the elections began today amid tight security. Get latest updates here
Visuals from Baramulla
Highest voter turnout recorded in Samba district
Jammu's Samba district recorded the highest voter turnout of 81.5 per cent on Saturday. In Samba district, polls were held for the four municipal committees of Samba, Ramgarh, Vijaypur and Bari Brahamana.
Only 3.5 per cent voter turnout in Kashmir valley
Just 3.5 per cent of the electorate voted in the third phase of the urban local body polls in militancy-hit Kashmir Valley.
Third phase ends peacefully
Voting for the third phase of municipal polls ended peacefully on Saturday in Jammu & Kashmir's Samba, Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla districts, with an overall turnout of 16.3 per cent, news agency IANS reported.
16.4 per cent voter turnout in state till 4pm
Voter turnout report at 4pm
Only 71 voters exercised their franchise in Srinagar's historic Lal Chowk
According to news agency PTI, the historic Lal Chowk ward of Srinagar, which has an electoral strength 5,827, saw only 71 voters exercise their franchise during the day.
Srinagar's Safakadal, Chanapora wards record less than 10 votes each
Safakadal, a ward in the city's old town, and Chanapora, in the Civil Lines, polled less than 10 votes each in the third phase of the urban local body elections, as reported by PTI.
Low voter turnout in Srinagar
Final polling percentage for Srinagar is 1.8%. Only 2740 of the total 153091 votes cast.
Voter turnout till 2pm
ULB polls phase III
Srinagar - 1.5 %
Baramulla - 72 %
Anantnag - 2.6 %
Visuals from Jammu
'Polling process smooth in four municipalities'
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."
Samba records highest voter turnout
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.
NC's Omar Abdullah questions Modi government
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
Polling areas under scanner
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.
More security in few polling stations
Additional poll staff has been deployed at polling stations with a large number of electors.
3,372 nominations filed
A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards.
Control rooms to monitor complaints
"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.
Govt announces holiday on days of poll
The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.
Voter turnout at 10 am
Heavy polling in Uri area
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.
100 votes registered in Anantnag
In Anantnag district, only 100 of the 5,469 votes have been polled in the first three hours of polling, officials told PTI.
Low 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.
Former NC leader Junaid Mattu after casting his vote:
After casting his vote, independent candidate Junaid Mattu said, "High time some people 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 the BJP before. So it is hilarious."
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 #jammukashmirelection pic.twitter.com/Q2kiC3XQ5O— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2018
Last phase on October 16
Municipal elections, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh, are being held in four phases. The last phase will take place on Tuesday.
241 polling stations 'hypersensitive': J&K Police
Out of the 300 polling stations, 241 stations - 222 in the Kashmir Division and 19 in Jammu Division – have been categorised hypersensitive, police officials said.
Voter turnout at 8 am
Former NC leader Junaid Azim Mattu casts his vote
Independent candidate and former NC leader Junaid Azim Mattu, who resigned from the party because of its decision to boycott the local body polls, registered 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
Tight security across polling stations
A thick security blanket has been thrown around the polling stations, while security forces are carrying out area domination exercises over the past couple of days for ensuring incident-free election, officials said.
NC, PDP, CPI(M) boycotts J&K polls
The National Conference, the PDP and the CPI(M) have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
365 candidates contesting J&K urban local body polls
365 candidates are in the fray for 96 wards of eight urban local bodies for the third phase comprising a total electorate of 1,93,990 electors.
Polling in 100 out of 207 wards
Although 207 wards in J&K were scheduled to go to polls today, polling will be held only in 100 wards: 56 in Samba district in Jammu division and 44 in the Valley.
High voter turnout expected in Uri town, Mattan area
The voter turnout is expected to be high in 13 wards in the Uri area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district, which has traditionally been a high polling area. Similarly, a high turnout may be registered in nine wards in the Mattan area of Anantnag district, which has a significant Kashmiri migrant population.
Areas where polling will be held
Polling will also be held in the following civil lines area of the city today: Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Ikhrajpora, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Chanapora, Budshah Nagar, Baghat Barzulla, Hyderpora and Rawalpora.
Low voter turnout expected in 20 wards due to militancy
Of the 44 wards going to polls on Saturday, 20 fall in Srinagar city's downtown area, where the voter turnout has been generally low since the eruption of militancy in the state in 1989. The wards in downtown city going to polls are Khanqah-e-Mualla, Maharajgunj, Jamia Masjid, Makhdoom Sahib, Khwaja Bazaar, Aqilmir Khanyar, Rozabal, Daulatabad, Islamyarbal, Nawab Bazaar, Nawa Kadal, Safakadal, Rathpora, Edigah, Palpora and Tarabal.
Voting for third phase begins in J&K
The third phase of the Jammu and Kashmir urban local body elections began at 6 am today and will continue till 6 pm. As many as 372 candidates are in the fray for the elections. A thick security blanket has been thrown around the polling stations, while security forces are carrying out area domination exercises over the past couple of days for ensuring incident-free election, the officials said. Follow our LIVE BLOG for all latest updates.