Srinagar: As voting in the second phase of the Jammu & Kashmir municipal election concluded, just 31.3 per cent polling was recorded. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K, Shaleen Kabra said that in Jammu division 78.6 per cent polling was witnessed in 214 wards that went to polls today while Kashmir division witnessed a minimal of 3.4 per cent polling in 49 wards with Bandipora recording the highest 35.6 per cent voting.
In Jammu division highest polling percentage of 84.4% was recorded in Reasi, the CEO said. He added that the cumulative polling percentage till date is 47.2 per cent with 67.7% voting recorded in Jammu division and 8.3 per cent in Kashmir Division in Phase-I and Phase-II.
Meanwhile, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate died of heart attack on Wednesday when he was about to cast his vote in the second phase of the municipal elections in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. Azad Singh Raju, 62, a former employee of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, died at a local polling station before casting his vote, officials said. He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Azad was among 24 candidates in the fray for the seven municipal bodies of Ramban district.
The second phase of the polling took place at 263 municipal wards spread across Jammu and Kashmir, including 214 wards, in six districts of Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua in Jammu region. The polling started at 6 am and ended at 4 pm.
During the first two hours of the polling, the officials said Kathua district is leading the voter turnout chart with 17.2 per cent of 54,622 electorates exercising their democratic right. It was followed by Reasi district which recorded a voter turnout of 16.6 per cent (10,204 voters) followed by Kishtwar (15.3 per cent of 8,830 voters), Doda (12.6 per cent of 13,396 voters), Ramban (12.4 per cent of 5,533 voters) and Udhampur (10.3 per cent of 35,519 voters).
Authorities had made elaborate security arrangements to ensure peaceful polling which will seal the fate of 1,029 candidates. A total of 544 polling stations, including 274 in Jammu and 270 in Kashmir, had been set up and guarded by police and paramilitary forces.
“The polling in Jammu region is going on smoothly and there was no untoward poll-related violence reported from anywhere,” the officials said. The first phase of the polling was held on October 8 after a gap of 13 years and registered a voter turnout of 56.6 per cent. The third phase of the polling is scheduled for October 13 followed by fourth and final phase on October 16.
The counting of votes will be held on October 20.