Over 37 pc turnout till 2 PM in penultimate phase of J&K polls

Over 37 pc turnout till 2 PM in penultimate phase of J&K polls
Ignoring the boycott call given by separatists and braving cold weather, over 37 per cent of 14.73 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 2 PM in the penultimate phase of Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Barring minor clashes between supporters of rival parties at a dozen places, polling in all the 18 constituencies spread over three districts of Kashmir, including summer capital Srinagar, and one district in Jammu region was by and large peaceful.

An estimated 37.46 per cent of electorate cast their ballot in the 18 constituencies spread over Srinagar and south Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Shopian and Samba district in Jammu region till 2 PM, an official spokesman said.

He said Vijaypur constituency in Samba district recorded the highest turnout of 63.44 per cent in the first six hours, while Habbakadal constituency in Srinagar witnessed the lowest 13.44 per cent during the corresponding period.

Despite severe cold, long queues of voters were seen outside the polling stations to exercise their franchise at many polling stations.

The trends in voter turnout in eight constituencies of Srinagar city, which have witnessed low voter turnout in the past elections due to separatist boycott calls, pointed towards a higher poll percentage this time.

While four constituencies of Khanyar, Habbakadal, Amirakadal and Zadibal had already surpassed the turnout recorded in 2008 assembly elections, the polling was going on briskly in other segments.

Sonawar constituency, where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is contesting, witnessed the highest 33.85 per cent turnout in Srinagar followed by Hazratbal constituency at 22.77 per cent.

Edigah, Zadibal, Khanyar, Amirakadal and Batmaloo constituencies witnessed over 21.51 per cent, 20.14, 21.02 and 18.73 per cent turnout, respectively, till 2 PM in the fourth of the five-phased Assembly polls.

Anantnag constituency in south Kashmir, where PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is a candidate, saw 30.58 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in the first six hours.

Pahalgam constituency in Anantnag district was leading in the turnout in Kashmir with 54.63 per cent of electorate exercising their franchise till 2 PM.

Shangus constituency recorded 53.46 per cent turnout, followed by Dooru (52.63), Kokernag (51.95), Bijbehara (44.07), Shopian (39.78) and Wachi (36.30).

Samba constituency recorded a turnout of 62.03 per cent by 2 PM, the officials said.

Stringent security arrangements have been put in place to ensure incident-free polling across the state, the officials said.

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