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J&K, Jharkhand voters defy extremists

J&K, Jharkhand voters defy extremists
Highlights

A 61 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the 2008 Assembly polls for these 15 seats--6 in Jammu division, 5 in Kashmir Valley and four in Ladakh. Today\'s polling was spread over seven districts.

  • Over 70 per cent voter turnout in J&K
  • 61 % voter turnout was recorded in the 2008 polls
  • Polling was absolutely peaceful without any incident: Dy EC
  • 61.9 % is the turnout in Jharkhand

Srinagar/Jammu: Defying separatists' election boycott call and braving cold weather, voters turned out in large numbers on Tuesday to record over 70 per cent polling without any incident in 15 constituencies in the first of the five- phase polls in Jammu and Kashmir. In Jharkhand, voters defied a poll boycott call by Maoists and turned up in large numbers to cast their ballot in the first of the five-phase assembly elections. 61.9 was the voter turnout in Jharkhand.


Election Commission officials said the poll percentage figures released in Jammu and Kashmir so far were tentative and that it was likely to go up by two to three per cent as voting was going on at some places even after closure of voting at 4 pm. Polling began at 8 am in cold wave conditions.

A 61 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the 2008 Assembly polls for these 15 seats--6 in Jammu division, 5 in Kashmir Valley and four in Ladakh. Today's polling was spread over seven districts.

"Polling has gone absolutely peaceful without any incident. It was 100 per cent flawless polls and there was not a single incident which vitiates poll process," Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi told reporters in Delhi. Dealing a serious blow to separatist politics, thousands of voters had lined up before polling stations with nearly 10.52 lakh voters being eligible to vote.

Separatist groups like all the factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have called for a boycott of the polls and a general strike as well.

A total of 123 candidates including seven ministers were in the fray with the ruling coalition partners National Conference and Congress and the Opposition People's Democratic Party(PDP) and BJP fighting for the spoils.

In five Kashmir Valley constituencies, two in Ganderbal district recorded 68 per cent turnout -- an increase of 13 per cent from 2008 assembly polls -- while three in Bandipora district recorded 70.30 per cent, registering an increase of 11 per cent.

In six seats of Jammu division, two constituencies in Doda district recorded a turn out of 76 per cent while it was 70 per cent each for the four seats in Kishtwar and Ramban districts.

Jharkhand
In Jharkhand voters voted in large numbers to cast their ballot.

Voting took place in 13 of the 81 assembly constituencies in six Maoist-affected districts. Over three million voters were eligible to cast their ballot, of whom about 1.8 million exercised their franchise.

Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha, who briefed the media about the Jharkhand elections in Delhi, said the polling percentage in 13 constituencies that went to the polls was 62 percent. He said these constituencies saw 58 percent polling in the 2009 assembly polls as well as in the Lok Sabha elections. Voter turnout was good in Maoist affected areas despite a boycott call.

The young and the old were seen queueing up at polling stations.The second phase polling for 20 seats will be held on December 2. Polling for the third phase for 17 seats is slated for December 9, the fourth for 15 seats on December 14 and the fifth and final phase for 16 seats will be held on December 20.

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