Sixty nine per cent of electorate exercised their franchise in Udhampur parliamentary constituency that went to polls in the second leg of Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
Chief electoral officer Umang Narula told reporters in Jammu that there was a 24 per cent increase in the voter turnout this time compared to the 2009 election when the polling percentage was 45 per cent.
The election will decide the fate of senior Congress leader and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in a direct contest with BJP’s Jitender Singh. Kishtwar district, which witnessed one of the worst communal riots in the state’s recent history, registered a brisk 64.48 per cent voting. The militancy-infested Ramban district witnessed 63.22 per cent polling.
“There was 68.41 per cent polling in Doda, 74.84 per cent in Reasi, 67.92 per cent in Udhampur and 70.43 per cent in Kathua districts. Figures of exact polling are being received from various other far flung areas of these districts, which would add up the final poll percentage tally subsequently,” Narula said.
He said the polling was peaceful so far and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency. “In order to ensure that the polling is done in various inaccessible areas of the hilly districts, 45 air sorties were done and 545 election officers and security personnel were airlifted. 1,272 vehicles were also put in use for transportation of officers and material,” the CEO added.
The constituency spread over six districts saw 2,051 polling stations in 1,798 locations, which included 198 critical/hypersensitive areas.
“In order to improve the voting experience, 53 model polling stations were established with innovative facilities. Web casting was done on 68 booths and 337 digital and 132 video cameras were deployed,” Narula added.
There are 13 candidates in the fray from the constituency.