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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Over 10% polling in Jammu seat in first 2 hours

The lowest voter turnout so far was noted in Ramgarh at 1.53 per cent.
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 06:36 IST
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 06:36 IST

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Jammu: More than 10 per cent of the over 17.8 lakh eligible voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in the second phase of Lok Sabha election in the Jammu constituency on Friday, Jammu and Kashmir poll officials said.

The Jammu Lok Sabha seat is one of the 89 constituencies in 13 states and Union territories across the country where polling is being held today.

The polling began at 7 am in 2,416 polling stations across the constituency and is going on peacefully with no untoward incident reported, the officials said, adding that 10.39 per cent votes were polled till 9 am.

Electors in Jammu are casting their votes to decide the fate of 22 candidates, including sitting MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is eyeing a third term after winning the seat for the BJP in 2014 and 2019.

This is the first major electoral battle after the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.

The officials said the Akhnoor segment has polled the highest votes of 14.24 per cent followed by Reasi with 14.13 per cent, Gulabgarh (13.53 per cent), Shri Mata Vaishnodevi (12.71 per cent), Marh ( 12.31 per cent), Samba (8.56 per cent), R S Pura Jammu South (8.17 per cent) and Suchetgarh (5.67 per cent).

The lowest voter turnout so far was noted in Ramgarh at 1.53 per cent.

As per the poll data , a low turnout was reported in the border areas of Jammu and Samba districts till 9 am.

Voters were seen headed towards polling stations early in the morning, the officials said, adding that long queues of voters were seen at various polling stations in Jammu city.

Batting strongly for providing jobs to youth to keep them away from the drug menace in Jammu and Kashmir and to save the young generation, a 102-year-old Haji Karamdin exercised his right to franchise in a polling station in Reasi district.

"I am very happy to vote at this polling station at this age. I have voted every time. This journey is continuing even today at the age of 102," said Karamdin, who voted at a polling station in Reasi this morning.

More than 15,000 polling staff, including reserves, have been deployed while security arrangements are foolproof to ensure free-and-fair polls.

"Security and other related arrangements are in place to ensure free, fair and peaceful voting. A contingency plan has also been worked out to ensure no disruption in polling along the borders," Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pandurang K Pole said.

He expressed hope that the polling would remain peaceful.

This is the second Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir to go to polls. Earlier, polling was held in the Udhampur seat on April 19, recording a voter turnout of more than 68 per cent.

A total of 17,80,835 voters, including 9,21,095 men, 8,59,712 women and 28 third-gender voters, are enrolled in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency.

The officials said there are 10,498 differently-abled voters and 666 voters above the age of 100 years.

A total of 2,416 polling stations, including 158 along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC), have been set up across the four districts of Jammu, Samba, Reasi and Rajouri (the Kalakote-Sunderbani Assembly segment), they added.

The officials said 10 polling booths will be managed by women, 10 by specially-abled persons and nine by youngsters.

In addition to the 11 Assembly constituencies of Jammu district, the Jammu Lok Sabha seat includes the Kalakote-Sunderbani constituency of Rajouri, the Gulabgarh, Reasi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi segments of Reasi district and the Ramgarh, Samba and Vijaypur segments of Samba district.

Jammu recorded a voter turnout of 74 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Twenty-two candidates are in the fray this time. A direct contest is on the cards between Sharma and INDIA bloc candidate Raman Bhalla, the working president of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress.

Jagdish Raj of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and advocate Ankur Sharma of the Ekam Sanatan Bharat Dal are two other prominent faces contesting the seat.

Sharma defeated Bhalla by a margin of more than three lakh votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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Published 26 April 2024, 06:36 IST

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