3.09 lakh people cast votes in 4th phase of Panchayat polls25 April 2011
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: An approximate 80.31 per cent electorates exercised their franchise in fourth phase of Panchayat elections across the State today covering 12 blocks including five in Kashmir valley and seven in Jammu region. By late tonight, majority of results for 346 posts of Sarpanches and 2471 Panches had been declared while counting for all constituencies would be completed tomorrow morning. A total of 3.09 lakh people turned up for voting today out of 3.85 lakh electorates of 12 blocks. Highest turn-out of 88.39 per cent was recorded in Ramhal block of Kupwara while lowest turnout of 55 per cent was reported from Rohama block of Baramulla district. Official sources said the polling was by and large peaceful in all eight blocks of the State, which went to voting in fourth out of a total of 16 phase elections. Re-poll has been recommended at two polling booths in Mahore block of Reasi district. The re-poll was necessitated due to wrong publication of ballot papers. At Tuli, Chasana in Mahore block, supporters of two candidates clashed and beat-up each other causing injuries to six persons. One of them was hospitalised. Police have registered a case in the clash and detained some persons for questioning. In another incident, five poll officials were injured when their vehicles were attacked at Azad Gunj in Baramulla this evening. Official sources said that a vehicle carrying poll officials to Rohama, where the polling was held today, was attacked by some people with stones. The window panes of the vehicle was damaged and five poll officials were injured. They were later provided first aid in the district hospital. This was the first such incident during the Panchayat elections in the Valley. Voting percentage for 12 Panchayat blocks included Ramhal, Kupwara (88.39), Rohama, Baramulla (55), Wakoora, Ganderbal (81), Beerwah, Budgam (84), Devsar, Kulgam (80), Mahore, Reasi, (85.04), Ghordi, Udhampur (75.6), Lohai Malhar, Kathua (80.4), Bani, Kathua (85.5), Duggan, Kathua (78.5), Nowshera, Rajouri (85) and Kalakote, Rajouri (80.6). In previous three phases of Panchayat elections also, voting percentage was around 80. Out of a total of 57,769 electorates in Mahore block of Reasi district, 39,127 turned up for polling while in Ghordi block of Chenani in Udhampur district, 27,428 people cast their ballots from amongst the total of 36,280. In Lohai-Malhar block of Kathua, 19088 votes were polled in a total of 23,738 electorates. Bani, the smallest block of Kathua, accounted for 13,746 votes from 15,726 while Duggan, Kathua recorded 7082 votes from a total of 9011. In border district of Rajouri, 37,426 votes were polled in Nowshera block from a total of 44,030 electorates while in Kalakote block, 31,845 people exercised their franchise from amongst 38,367 electorates. In Ramhal block of Kupwara, 21,700 electorates exercised their right to franchise from a total of 24,550 while in Rohama block of Baramulla, 16,025 people turned up to polling booths out of 29,136 voters. Ganderbal's Wakoora block accounted for 23,819 votes out of a total of 29,406 while Budgam's Beerwah block witnesses 31,180 voters turning out at polling booths from a total of 37,119. In Devsar block of Kulgam, 32,185 votes were polled from a total of 40,171. The voting was held for 346 Sarpanch and 2471 Panch constituencies today. Sources said majority of results had been declared by late tonight while rest of the results would be out by tomorrow morning. Re-polling was also held today at three polling stations. Dadompora polling booth of Budgam district recorded 73.6 per cent turnout while Nunnar polling station of Ganderbal had 88 per cent polling. In Kither station of Chenani block, 71 per cent voting was recorded. Polling was suspended at Dadompora in third phase on April 21 due to a clash between PDP and NC workers while in Nunnar, voting was suspended as some names of electorates were missing from the voter lists. In Kither, Chenani, polling had to be suspended due to wrong publication of a ballot paper. Much enthusiasm was witnessed in today's voting in all seven blocks of Jammu region and five blocks of Kashmir. A number of centurions also turned up for voting at various places to elect the candidates of their choice. A centurion couple-Veer Mohammad, 104 and Moosa Begum, 103, cast their votes at Sandrooni police station in Bani block while 110 year old Bakhti Begum exercised her right to franchise at Ward No. 4 at Loang in Bani. A 110 year old voter Anant Ram son of Sunder Ram cast his vote at Sera Manjal in Ghordi block of Chenani in Udhampur district. Yet another centurion, Jobanu, 110, wife of Gulabu polled her vote at Badoli, Duggan in Kathua district. A total of 2110 candidates including 18 women were in fray for 346 Sarpanch constituencies in today's polling while 4408 candidates including 1417 women contested election for 2471 posts of Panch. At most of the places, women outnumbered men at the polling stations. People were seen turning up to the polling booths without any fear. No complaint of bogus voting or intimidation was reported from any of 12 blocks that went to polls today. Peaceful voting was evident from the fact that barring two polling stations of Mahore in Reasi district, the Election authorities didn't have to order re-poll anywhere. In Mahore also, the re-poll was ordered for wrong publication of ballot papers. Today's elections were held for 29 Sarpanch constituencies and 204 Panch constituencies in Ramhal district Kupwara, 24 Panchayat and 194 Panch constituencies in Rohama district Baramulla, 19 Panchayat and 157 Panch constituencies in Wakura district Ganderbal, 41 Panchayat and 317 Panch constituencies in Beerwah district Budgam, 33 Panchayat and 239 Panch constituencies in Devsar district Kulgam, 58 Panchayat and 378 Panch constituencies in Mahore district Reasi, 27 Panchayat and 204 Panch constituencies in Ghordi district Udhampur, 18 Panchayat and 132 Panch constituencies in Lohai Malhar district Kathua, 17 Panchayat and 108 Panch constituencies in Bani district Kathua, 12 Panchayat and 72 Panch constituencies in Duggan district Kathua, 36 Panchayat and 248 Panch constituencies in Nowshera district Rajouri and 32 Panchayat and 218 Panch constituencies in Kalakote district Rajouri.