Voting underway for 5th phase of J&K panchayat polls

Jammu/Srinagar: Voting was underway on Thursday for the fifth phase of panchayat polls across Jammu and Kashmir amid tight security.

Voting is taking place in 2,512 polling stations — 769 in Kashmir division and 1,743 in Jammu division.

Polling started at 8 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m.

A total of 848 polling stations have been categorized as hypersensitive — 755 in Kashmir and 93 in the division.

Poll officials said that 4,763 candidates are in the fray in this phase for 309 sarpanch and 1,534 panch seats while 118 sarpanches and 1,046 patches have been already elected unopposed.

Some 404,283 electors will be voting in the sarpanch constituencies and 270,295 for panch constituencies.

Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling stations.

In the first phase held on November 17, 74.1 percent polling was recorded while in phase two held on November 20 it was an overall 71.1 percent.

In phase three on November 23, the state witnessed a polling percentage of 75.2 percent while in phase four held on November 27, 71.3 percent voting was recorded.

The nine-phased Panchayat polls will end on December 17.

Panchayat polls were last held in the state in 2011.