J-K panchayat polls: Poonch, Bandipora record highest voter turnout till 12 pm

Srinagar: Poonch district of Jammu region witnessed the highest voter turnout of 67 percent while Bandipora district in Kashmir Valley saw the highest turnout of 40.3 percent till 12 pm in the third phase of panchayat elections.

Despite threats from terrorist groups and boycott calls given by the two major political outfits of the region – the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party – voters came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

The polling in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions began at 8 am and concluded at 2 pm.

The voter turnout recorded in other areas of the Kashmir Valley is as follows: Kupwara 39.3 percent, Baramulla, 40.3 percent, Ganderbal 9.2 percent, Budgam 33.1 percent. The turnout recorded in other areas of Jammu region are – Kishtwar 51.1 percent, Doda 52.3 percent, Ramban 62.2 percent, Udhampur 60.3 percent, Kathua 62.5 percent and Rajouri 61.0 percent.

In the Ladakh region, Kargil recorded the highest voter turnout of 52.5 percent while Leh witnessed voter turnout of 48.1 percent

In the Jammu division, areas that went to polls included Drabshalla, Inderwal, Mughal Maidan and Nagsani in Kishtwar; Thathri, Chiralla and Kahara in Doda; Gool and Gundi Dharam in Ramban; Chennai and Chanunta in Udhampur; Keerian Gandyal, Nagri, Basohli and Bhoond in Kathua; Rajouri and Dhangri in Rajouri and Sathra, Nagali Sahib Sain Baba in Poonch.

Major blocks where voting took place in Kashmir region are — Kralpora, Meelyal, Reddi Chokibal and Handwara in Kupwara district; Sumbal in Bandipora district; Rohama and Baramulla in Baramulla district; Ganderbal block in Ganderbal district; Soibugh and Sursyar in Budgam district; Keller in Shopian district; DH Pora, DK Marg and Menzgam in Kulgam district.

In Ladakh region, polling was held in Pashkum (South), TSG, Kargil and Zanskar in Kargil district and Chuchot, Thiksey, Leh, Nimoo and Saspol in Leh district.

The first phase of panchayat polls held on November 17 recorded about 74.1 percent polling across the state, with 64.5 percent in Kashmir division and 79.5 percent in Jammu division.

In the second phase, held on November 20, overall 71.1 percent polling was witnessed across the state. An overwhelming 80.4 percent polling was witnessed in Jammu division and 52.2 percent in Kashmir division, stated Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra.