79 pc voting in 3rd phase of polls21 April 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Seventy nine percent voting was recorded in third phase of Panchayat elections today as 245 Sarpanches and 1866 Panches were elected when the counting in all constituencies was completed by mid-night tonight. The election was today scheduled for 246 Sarpanches and 1868 Panches but eight Sarpanches and 288 Panches had already been elected unopposed. However, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) B R Sharma has deferred the counting in one Sarpanch constituency of Purmandal block of Samba district and ordered re-poll in two Panch segments in Ganderbal and Budgam districts. Official sources said Mr Sharma suspended counting for Sarpanch constituency of Phallan Mandyal in Purmandal block of Samba district following complaints by some of the candidates. He ordered that ballot boxes would be deposited in the treasury and counting taken up again only after an inquiry into the complaints by the Deputy Commissioner, Samba. Polling was deferred in Booth Nos. 3 and 6 in Nunnar Panch constituency of Ganderbal block in Kashmir following resentment among the candidates due to missing of some names from the voter lists. After getting a report, the CEO deferred polling in Nunnar Panchayat Halqa. A repoll will be held after the missing names are included in the voter lists. Polling was also deferred in Booth No. 6 at Wampoora in Chadoora block of Budgam district following a clash between PDP and NC workers. The CRPF chased away the clashing youth but the polling was suspended in the Panchayat Halqa and a re-poll would be held there. For the post of 246 Sarpanches in 10 blocks that went to polls today, there were 993 candidates in fray including 979 male and 14 females. For 1868 Panches, there were 3432 candidates in fray including 2368 male and 1063 females. Polling percentage in today’s 10 blocks stood as: Sogam (86.5), Baramulla (86), Ganderbal (75), Chadoora (82), Kulgam (69.6), Ramnagar (72.6), Dudu-Basantgarh (78.2), Purmandal (82), Ghagwal (80) and Satwari (80). Barring three incidents, polling in all other constituencies of third phase of Panchayat elections passed off peacefully, official sources said. The election was held on 27 Sarpanch Constituencies and 225 Panch Constituencies in CD block Sogam district Kupwara, 28 Sarpanch and 245 Panch Constituencies in CD block Boniyar district Baramulla, 20 Sarpanch and 155 Panch Constituencies in CD block Ganderbal district Ganderbal, 40 Sarpanch and 299 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Chadoora district Budgam, 33 Sarpanch and 216 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Kulgam district Kulgam, 24 Sarpanch and 172 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Ramnagar district Udhampur, 20 Sarpanch and 156 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Dudu-Basantgarh district Udhampur, 15 Sarpanch and 108 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Purmandal district Samba, 17 Sarpanch and 122 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Ghagwal district Samba and 22 Sarpanch and 170 Panch Constituencies in CD Block Satwari district Jammu. In Srinagar, Moderate to heavy polling was recorded during the third phase of Panchayat elections for the five blocks of Kashmir valley. People jostled with each other in order to cast their votes and the scene was festive on most of the polling booths. Women too did not held back and in some of the polling booths they outcast their male counterparts. Since early morning people had assembled outside the polling booths to exercise their franchise in Ganderbal, Chadoora, Kulgam, Boniyar and Sogam blocks falling in Ganderbal, Budgam, Kulgam, Baramulla and Kupwara districts of the Kashmir valley. 'Panchayats hold very important place in the development of villages and it is important to elect honest people as Panches and Sarpanches. It is due to this reason that I have come out to vote. We want that development works get a fillip in our area and same with possible when the Panchayats are strong,' said Khati, an old aged woman while casing her vote at the Haran polling station in Ganderbal block. At Haran polling station, people had assembled since 7 a.m. and everybody wanted to take a lead over the others. As such the police and security forces personnel had to face tough time in controlling the mob. 'It is after many days that sun has come out with full intensity and we don't want to miss out the opportunity of working in the fields. But at the same time we want our area to develop and that is why we had come early in the morning to cast our votes. There is an opportunity to play our part in progress of our village and how could I miss it,' said Ghulam Rasool, a resident of Darend village in Ganderbal block. Reports said people in large numbers came out to cast their vote in the other blocks as well as where elections were held on Thursday. The bright sun provided a great opportunity for people to move out and exercise their franchise for the elections to Panchayats. The electors could be seen showing victory signs as they came out of the polling booths and there were others who pointed towards the ink on their fingers. All of them were jubilant over this important exercise saying that these elections would pave way for development and progress in their respective areas.