GR News Desk | Srinagar
As the security turmoil continues in Jammu and Kashmir, people came out to vote in large numbers in the first phase of Panchayat elections Saturday. The election, being held in nine phases saw a turnout of 64.5 per cent in Kashmir, while that in Jammu at a staggering 79 per cent.
In Jammu Division, polling was held in 29 blocks of seven districts which saw an enthusiastic participation from the electorate who came out in large numbers despite intense cold. In the first phase of polling, 85 sarpanch and 1,676 panches have been elected unopposed while voting took place on the remaining 420 sarpanches and 1,845 panch seats, for which 5,585 candidates were in the fray.
In the Kashmir region, polling was held in 16 blocks spread over six districts and witnessed an overall 64.5 percent voter turnout. The statistics from the districts suggested that in Leh polling was 60 per cent and 77.7 per cent in Kargil. In Srinagar, the voter turnout was 21.8 per cent, Budgam 30.14 per cent, Kupwara 70 per cent, Baramulla 69.1 per cent and in Bandipora district it was nearly 56.2 per cent.
Meanwhile 12 Panchayats of the 32 spread over the six blocks in Leh district have already declared winners unopposed and the election was held on only 20 Panchayats in the first phase. The 2nd phase polling is scheduled for November 20th.