Assembly polls 2nd phase: 71 pc voting in J&K, 65.46 pc in Jharkhand

While voting is being held in 18 constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand is polling for seats in the second phase.

By: Express News Service | Updated: December 3, 2014 8:53:13 am
Paramilitary soldier stand guard as Kashmiris wait to cast their vote outside a polling station in Handwara, some 70 kilometers north of Srinagar. (Source: PTI photo) Paramilitary soldier stand guard as Kashmiris wait to cast their vote outside a polling station in Handwara, some 70 kilometers north of Srinagar. (Source: PTI photo)

In a rerun of record polling in the first phase, a 71 per cent voter turnout was registered in the second phase of incident-free Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday as the electorate in the 18 seats again ignored boycott call by separatist groups. And A total of 65.46 per cent votes were cast in 20 of the 81 assembly seats in second phase of the five-phased state elections today.

Election commission officials said the figure in J&K could go up by one to two per cent once the final tally is available.

Three militants killed in encounter with army in Kupwara

Dealing a serious blow to separatist politics, enthusiastic voters stood in serpentine queues at several polling stations waiting for their turn.

The first phase of the five-phase polls for 15 seats on November 25 had witnessed a record 71.28 per cent polling.

“The latest figures that we have for the second phase of polls in Jammu and Kashmir is 71 per cent. We expect these
numbers to go up by 1-2 per cent further,” Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi told reporters in Delhi.

Zutshi said that during the entire phase today, where 18 assembly seats in five districts went to polls, “no untoward
incident” took place and the entire event was peaceful. Of the five districts, two were in the Valley and three in Jammu. While in Jharkhand, the polling also concluded peacefully in all the constituencies, Chief Electoral Officer P K Jajoria said. Re-polling was also held peacefully at one booth in Garhwa seat and two in Chhatarpur constituency.

According to official figures, Lolab Assembly segment recorded the highest turnout of 10.5 per cent in the first hour of polling. (Source: IE photo by Ruwa Shah) According to official figures, Lolab Assembly segment recorded the highest turnout of 10.5 per cent in the first hour of polling. (Source: IE photo by Ruwa Shah)

Tuesday’s poll percentage in J&K, the Deputy EC said, is higher than the figure of 61.04 per cent polling during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 68.79 per cent recorded during the 2008 Assembly elections.

The corresponding figures for voting on Tuesday in the 5 districts stood at Reasi (80 per cent), Udhampur (76 per
cent), Poonch (75 per cent), Kupwara (68 per cent) and Kulgam (above 60 per cent).

He said the weather was “very supportive” during the polls and there was no snowfall.

Tuesday’s phase involved an electorate of 15.35 lakh. A total of 175 candidates, including four sitting ministers and
11 other sitting MLAs were in the fray.

There was a tight security cover in Kulgam and Kupwara districts following back-to-back attacks on two sarpanches by militants over the last two days in which one was killed.

Of the 18 constituencies, Handwara in north Kashmir Kupwara district was in focus as separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajad Gani Lone is making a debut in Assembly elections after unsuccessfully contesting the Lok Sabha polls in 2009.

Although the cold weather conditions and heavy fog posed a hindrance in some areas in the early hours, voters started flocking the polling stations as the day progressed and the sun came out.

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Here are the highlights:

# Two villages in  Kulgam Assembly of south Kashmir constituency have en masse decided not to take part in the democratic process alleging discrimination in development and harassment by security forces.

# A polling booth where no vote has been cast:

# J&K: Polling percentage in 20 Assembly constituencies till 10 am

Part 1: Karnah    9%, Kupwara    4%, Lolab   10.5%, Handwara    4%, Langate  3.50%

Part 2: Noorabad   10.50%, Kulgam   8.18%,  HomeShalibugh  1.20%, Devsar  4.50%

Part 3: Devsar  4.50%, Gulabgarh  17.99%,  Reasi  19.95%,  Gool Arnas  18.04%,  Udhampur18.76%

Part 4: Chenani (SC) 11.38%,  Ramnagar  16.96%, Surankote 9.85%, Mendher  11%,  Poonch Haveli 8.80%

#In J&K, during the first hour of polling, several people including Kashmiri Pandit migrants were seen standing in queues outside polling stations to exercise their franchise.

#About 16.32 per cent turnout was recorded in the first two hours in 20 Jharkhand Assembly constituencies across seven Maoist-hit districts.

#According to official figures, Lolab Assembly segment recorded the highest turnout of 10.5 per cent in the first hour of polling in J&K..

#Nearly five per cent voter turn out was recored in the first one hour in the second of the five-phase Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

#Out of the 18 assembly seats going to polls on December 2, nine segments are from the highly militancy-infested districts of the Jammu region, including Poonch and Reasi.

#Around 400 additional companies of police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure free, fair and incident free elections in J&K

jammu

#In this phase, RJD and JD(U) are not in the fray in Jharkhand Assembly polls.

Jharkhand-l

#A total of over 12 lakh voters will exercise their franchise at 1,900 polling stations in second phase in J&K.

#An electorate of 44,31,900, including 21,72,982 women, is eligible to vote in 5,048 polling stations across seven districts of Jharkhand.

#The polls will seal the fate of 223 candidates Naxal-hit areas Jharkhand.

# In J&K, the polls will seal the fate of 175 candidates, including deputy speaker, four ministers and 11 other sitting MLAs, amidst tight security in Kulgam and Kupwara districts following attacks on sarpanches by militants.

#In J&K, Handwara in north Kashmir Kupwara district will be the focus of attention as separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajad Gani Lone is making debut after losing Lok Sabha polls in 2009.

# In Jharkhand, polling began at 7 am in all 20 constituencies. While it will end at 5 am at Jamshedpur (West) and Jamshedpur (East) seats, the exercise will end at 3 pm in the rest of the seats.

# People have by and large so far stayed indoor due to cold weather and heavy fog engulfing the Kashmir valley.

# The polling is being held in 20 Maoist-affected constituencies amid tight security in Jharkhand.

(With PTI inputs)

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