3.1 lakh cast votes in 2nd phase of Panchayat polls17 April 2011
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: An approximate 3.10 lakh voters (82.1 per cent) exercised their right to franchise in eight blocks of Panchayats including three in Jammu region and five in Kashmir in second phase of polling to the Panchayat elections held today. Seven Sarpanches and 443 Panches had been elected unopposed out of a total of 275 Sarpanch constituencies and 2031 Panch constituencies that went to the polls today. Immediately after the polling was completed this afternoon, the counting started and majority of results had been declared by 9 pm, official sources said. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and Home Secretary B R Sharma said 82.1 per cent electorates cast their votes for second phase of polling in the Panchayat elections today. Highest turn-out of 86.9 per cent was recorded in Uri block of Baramulla while 85.4 per cent and 85 per cent people cast their votes in Lar block of Ganderbal and Wavoora block of Kupwara respectively. Vijaypur block in Samba district accounted for 84 per cent voting while RS Pura block of Jammu district recorded 83.4 per cent turn-out. Pahloo block of Kulgam had 81.4 per cent voting. Seventy seven per cent people used their right to vote in Chenani block of Udhampur and Nagam block of Budgam district. There were a total of 1097 candidates in fray for 275 posts of Sarpanches and 4062 candidates for 2031 posts of Panches. Of them, 7 Sarpanches and 443 Panches had been elected unopposed in today’s election. A total of 3,77,989 voters were involved in today’s polling for eight blocks of Panchayats including 1,94,507 male and 1,83,482 female. Out of them, 3,10,340 cast their votes. In R S Pura block of Jammu district, which accounted for 58 Sarpanch and 424 Panch constituencies, one Sarpanch and 145 Panch including 74 women had been elected unopposed while in Vijaypur block of Samba district, where 35 Sarpanch and 254 Panch constituencies went to polls, 51 Panch including 22 women were elected uncontested. In Chenani block of Udhampur, where 49 Sarpanch and 390 Panch constituencies were involved in today’s voting, 76 Panch, 34 of them women, had been elected without any contest. In Wavoora block of Kupwara, which accounted for 24 Sarpanch and 200 Panch segments, one Sarpanch had been elected unopposed. In Uri block of Baramulla, where 33 Sarpanch and 246 Panch constituencies were involved in today’s voting, one Sarpanch and 95 Panch, including 34 women, were elected uncontested. Polling in Panchayat Halqa 25-Dara Gutliyan in Uri block was deferred due to some discrepancies. In Lar block of Ganderbal where 21 Sarpanch and 145 Panch constituencies went to polls, 28 Panch including 11 women were elected uncontested. In Nagam block of Budgam district, 38 Sarpanch and 249 Panch constituencies were involved in second phase of polling and, out of them, two Sarpanches and 39 Panches including 14 females, were elected unopposed. In Pahloo block of Kulgam, where 17 Sarpanch and 123 Panch constituencies were involved, eight Panches, three of them women, were elected without contest. The Election Department had received 1345 nominations for Sarpanch constituencies of eight blocks for today’s election. Of them, 10 papers were rejected during scrutiny while 238 candidates had withdrawn their papers leaving behind 1097 candidates in fray. For Panch constituencies, the Department had received 4610 nominations, of which, 72 papers were rejected during scrutiny while 476 had withdrawn their papers leaving behind 4062 candidates in fray. Sources said the polling in all eight blocks of Panchayats passed off peacefully. No untoward incident was reported from any part of eight blocks, they added. However, there were stray incidents of disputes among the candidates, their polling agents and the people during voting as well as counting but they were sorted out on spot by civil and police authorities, who had made elaborate security arrangements for the polls. In one Panchayat Halqa of Chenani block, polling has been deferred due to wrong publication of ballot papers. A re-poll would be held in that Halqa. With today’s polling, voting in two phases has been completed for 563 Sarpanch and 4149 Panch constituencies. Results for majority of the seats have been announced barring few seats of Sarpanches and Panches where re-poll would be held. In first phase, 288 Sarpanches and 2118 Panches were elected. Sources said out of 275 Sarpanch and 2031 Panch constituencies, where voting was held today, 85 per cent results had been declared by 9 pm while 100 per cent results were expected by mid-night. By tomorrow morning, the Election Department would publish the list of elected Sarpanches and Panches. Out of a total of 1.07 lakh votes in RS Pura block of Jammu district, 89,377 exercised their franchise while out of 64,669 electorates in Vijaypur block of Samba, 54,321 cast their votes. In Chenani block of Udhampur, 53,888 people voted out of a total of 69,985 votes. In Pahloo block of Kulgam, 16,761 electorates turned up to poll their ballots from amongst a total of 20,571 votes. Nagam block of Budgam accounted for 28,887 votes from out of a total of 37,515 while Lar block of Ganderbal accounted for 17,635 votes from out of a total of 20,635. In Uri block of Baramulla, 28,614 votes were polled from a total of 32,909. In Kupwara, 20,857 electorates cast their ballots from a total of 24,538. The Panchayat elections are being held across the State in 16 phases. In today’s election in RS Pura, Vijaypur and Chenani blocks of Jammu region, much enthusiasm was witnessed among the voters especially among the women. At several places in RS Pura, people had turned up outside the polling booths at 6 am before the schedule time of voting. Large queues of voters were witnessed at several places and people including the women had to wait for hours together to cast their votes.