Jammu and Kashmir civic elections part 2: Low turnout in Valley; Opposition involved about change in ballot timing

Round 30 % voting was recorded within the second part of the municipal physique elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Within the first six hours of polling on Wednesday, 34 % voting was registered.

About 2 % of the citizens voted within the first 5 hours of polling in 49 wards of city native our bodies within the militancy-wracked Kashmir Valley, the place elections are being held amid tight safety, officers stated.

The city native physique elections, protecting 79 municipal our bodies with an citizens of about 17 lakh, are being held in Jammu and Kashmir 4 phases. Voting for the second part of the polls within the Valley started at 6 am and ended at four pm on Wednesday. Individuals voted amid stringent safety preparations at 544 polling stations throughout the state.

Opposition events in Jammu and Kashmir noticed the choice of the chief electoral officer to open polling at 6 am as an try to rig the elections. Nationwide Convention chief and former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted that this may occasionally have been achieved to discourage journalists from checking the veracity of the polls. State Congress vice-president GN Monga additionally stated this was one other try to rig the civic elections.

The polling timing for the second part of the civic elections was modified from 7 am to six am, and the voting was scheduled for 10 hours. Election officers stated this was achieved to make sure a greater turnout.

Representational picture. PTI

“Just one.Eight % of the two.20 lakh citizens solid their votes within the first 5 hours,” an official stated.

In 5 districts of Kashmir, 6.28 % voting was recorded, with Anantnag registering simply 0.Eight % voting until 12 pm. The Sumbal Municipal Physique in Bandipora district noticed a substantial rise in voting. By 12 pm, 22.2 % votes had been solid on this municipality, an enchancment from the three.four % registered within the first part.

The Sumbal Municipal Physique falls within the Sonwari Meeting constituency, which is represented by Nationwide Convention MLA and former minister Akbar Lone. Throughout the 2014 Meeting elections, Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) candidate Yaseer Rishi misplaced to Lone by a margin of 406 votes.

Polling within the second part was brisker in the entire of Bandipora district, with 17.four % of 8,300 voters casting their ballots until 11 am, an official stated.

The ballot share in north Kashmir’s Sopore and south Kashmir’s Anantnag municipal areas was 2.three % and 0.7 %, respectively.

Within the second part of the the city native physique polls, over a thousand candidates — 881 within the Jammu division and 148 within the Kashmir division — had been within the fray for 263 municipal wards in each the divisions. As many as 69 wards within the Valley had been received uncontested.

A complete of three,372 nominations have been filed for the 1,145 wards being contested throughout the state. The following two phases of the elections shall be held on 13 and 16 October.

Regardless of Opposition and arguments that the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir was not conducive to carry elections, the state introduced the dates for the city native physique polls final month. Two main political events — the Nationwide Convention and the PDP — boycotted the elections, accusing the Centre of not taking a agency stand on defending Article 35A of the Structure, which is going through a authorized problem within the Supreme Court docket.

Militants have issued threats to anybody taking part in these polls, due to which the state noticed sparse campaigning by candidates. Two Nationwide Convention employees had been killed final week. In dozens of wards, particularly in south Kashmir, no candidate filed nomination papers, and people contesting have been moved to protected places, and their particulars haven’t been made public.

With inputs from PTI

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