65 percent voting in Jammu and Kashmir


Srinagar/New Delhi : At least 65 percent voting was recorded Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir during the second phase of the seven-stage polling despite a boycott call by Muslim separatists and the winter chill, officials said.

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Voting ended peacefully with a large number of people exercising their franchise in the troubled state, said R. Bhattacharya, deputy election commissioner, in New Delhi.

Polling started at 8 a.m. amid tight security in six constituencies spread over the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region. The voting for the 87 constituencies is being held in seven phases over a month.

The poll percentage in the state at 4 p.m. when the voting stopped was a little over 65 percent, said state chief electoral officer B.R. Sharma.

In the valley’s Ganderbal constituency more than 44 per cent voters had voted.

In Kangan, 60 percent of the electorate cast their votes, Sharma said.

The voting percentage was expected to go up, as the process was still on in Lar belt where balloting was extended due to large number of people queuing outside the polling booths.

The total number of voters in the two constituencies was 137,560 and there were 22 candidates in the fray.

A total of 142 polling stations were set up in the Ganderbal district out of which 79 have been set up for Ganderbal and 63 for Kangan constituency.

In Jammu region, Kalakot and Darhal constituencies recorded 73 percent voting, Rajouri 67 and Nowshera 70, the officials said.

There were 353,457 voters in the four constituencies of Rajouri district’s difficult mountainous terrain.

In all, 454 polling stations were set up. Poonch Deputy Commissioner Rafiq Khan said 96 of the balloting stations were marked as hyper sensitive and 181 sensitive.