December 20, 2014 9:39:46 pm
Breaking the record of last 25 years, nearly 76 per cent electorate braving chilly cold weather conditions and also the apprehension of firing from across the border, cast their vote during the fifth and final phase of assembly elections in 20 constituencies which went to polls in Kathua, Jammu and Rajouri districts on Saturday.
The highest turnout was recorded as 83.20 per cent in Bani and the lowest as 60 per cent in Gandhinagar, said Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula at PWD Guest House here in the evening. He said Basholi recorded 78.50 per cent, Kathua (80.47), Billawar (77.60), Hiranagar(SC) (80.17), Nagrota (81), Jammu East (66.05), Jammu West (65), Bishnah (80.22), R. S. Pura (SC) (77.79), Suchetgarh (80), Marh (82.45), Raipur Domana (SC) (77.41), Akhnoor (82.97), Chhamb (SC) (82), Nowshera (81.70), Darhal (81), Rajouri (75) and Kalakote (74).
In these 20 Assembly constituencies, he said that 2,391 polling stations were set up including 278 hypersensitive ones. A total of 213 candidates were in the fray including Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and ministers – Sham Lal Sharma, Raman Bhalla, Ajay Sadhotra and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma.
The overall poll percentage in all the five phases of 2014 assembly polls has been recorded as 66 per cent, Narula said, adding that it was 5 per cent higher than 2008 assembly polls when only 61 per cent of electorate had cast vote.
Meanwhile, state police booked the Congress candidate and minister Dr Manohar Lal Sharma for attacking BJP candidate Dr Nirmal Singh and a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Billawar area last evening. Manohar Lal, who is seeking re-election from Billwar for the third time, along with his supporters reportedly attacked the vehicle of BJP candidate when he was returning to Jammu after talking to some local people there. The police official too was assaulted when he tried to intervene.
Earlier on Friday evening, another BJP candidate Ravinder Raina was injured seriously in an attack allegedly by some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) workers at Lamberi in Nowshera assembly constituency. Raina was reportedly interacting with local people in Lamberi when some PDP suoporters started pelting stones on him. He was immediately shifted to Sub District Hospital Nowshera from where he was later referred to Government Medical college hospital at Jammu.
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