October 2018 News
ULB Elections Indicate Of A Growing Wedge Between Regions9 October 2018
Jammu: The seeds of divide between three regions of the state viz Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh which were sown during parliamentary and followed by assembly elections in 2014 have begun to sprout now with ongoing polling to urban local bodies (ULB). The division is visible with Kashmiris largely staying away from the electoral process while people in Jammu and Ladakh regions celebrated the event with enthusiasm after queuing up in large numbers outside the polling stations despite boycott call given by separatist conglomerate, terrorists and mainstream political groups including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI- M) besides other smaller groups. Barring two minor incidents of violence in Kashmir valley, the 9 hour long polling went off peacefully in 820 booths for 24 ULB's spread over nearly a dozen of districts across the north Himalayan Indian state. Giving breakup of the voting turnout percentage where the polls were held on Monday, the state chief electoral officer (CEO) said that Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) has registered a voter turnout of 61. 92 percent while other ULB's which went to polls along with it were Jourian Municipal Committee which recorded 89 percent followed by Goa Manahasa MC- 86.21 percent, Bishna MC- 85.15 percent, Khour MC- 82, RS Pora MC- 80.54 percent, Akhnoor MC- 80.49 percent and Arnia MC- 79.7 percent. He said in Rajouri district, five MC's which went to polls recorded high turnover in all MC's included Thanamandi- 90.23 percent followed by Sunderbani- 89. 63 percent, Kalakote- 86.25 percent, Nowshera- 86.01 percent, Rajouri- 74.71 percent. In Poonch district, the CEO said Poonch Municipal Council has recorded a polling turnover of 70. 94 percent while Surankote MC polled 73. 14 percent. In Ladakh region Leh MC has registered a polling turnover up to 55. 2 percent while in Kargil MC has secured 78.2 percent. However, the picture in Kashmir valley was completely different as it recorded a low turnover in Municipal Corporation (SMC) and five MC's. In Kupwara MC 32.3 percent turnover was registered for 18 wards followed by Badgam- 17 percent for 1 ward, Anantnag- 7.3 percent for 4 wards, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC)- 6.2 percent for 3 wards, Baramulla- 5.1 percent for 15 wards and Bandipora- 3.4 percent for 16 wards. The polling on Monday indicated that the division has further deepened between three regions of the state.