ULB Polls Ist Phase Boycott Beats Ballot

The boycott effect was evident in strife-torn Kashmir with Valley recording only 8.3 per cent polling in the first phase of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections in Kashmir while Jammu and Ladakh recorded 65 and 62.1 per cent respectively.

According to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K Shaleen Kabra, the overall polling percentage across the State in the 1st phase of municipal polls stood at 56.7 percent.
He said 8.3 percent of electorate voted in the first-phase of ULB polls in Valley.
The CEO said Jammu region recorded 65 per cent and Ladakh 62.1 per cent polling respectively.

Polling in 83 wards of the Valley began at 7 am and ended at 4 pm amidst tight security.
Polling largely remained peaceful with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere.
There were minor stone pelting incidents in Baghi Mehtab and Bandipora in which four persons including a BJP candidate and a woman were injured.

According to the official data till 4 pm, Kupwara recorded voter turnout of 32.3 percent in 18 wards.
In Jammu region, Rajouri topped the list with 81 percent turnout. In Ladakh region, Kargil recorded 78.2 percent turnout in 13 wards.
The voting percentage was in single digit in Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramula and Srinagar, according to an official data.
In Anantnag a mere 7.3 percent votes were polled in four wards. Bandipora recorded 3.4 percent turnout in 16 wards. In Baramulla, total percentage of votes stood at 5.1 percent in 15 wards. In three wards of Srinagar, 6.2 percent votes were cast.
In Budgam, 17.0 percent voters exercised their right to franchise.
The two major political parties National Conference and PDP had boycotted the polls by linking their participation with Government of India (GoI’s) stand on Article 35A, which grants special privileges to residents of the State.
The separatists have also called for poll boycott while militants have warned constants of dire consequences.
In Jammu division, voter turnout was better as people in long queues were waiting in polling booths to cast their votes.
Jammu recorded 63.8 percent turnout in 153 wards that went to polls.
The 59 wards of Poonch recorded 73 percent voter turnout.
Similarly, 55.2 percent of the electorate voted in Leh in 13 wards.
Eleven districts went to polls in the first phase.
The polling took place in 820 polling stations across the state. Of the 820 polling stations, 150 were set up in Kashmir division and 670 in Jammu division.
In Kashmir division, 138 polling stations were categorized as hypersensitive while in Jammu division 52 polling stations were categorized as hypersensitive.
In total 1204 candidates were in the fray for 321 municipal Wards in Phase-I including 83 in Kashmir division and 238 in Jammu division.
The second phase of ULB polls would be held on October 10.