An estimated 26.07 per cent votes were polled in the first four hours of voting in the eighth and final phase of the maiden District Development Council (DDC) elections underway across 28 constituencies spread over 18 districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, officials said.
The polling, which started at 7 am and is scheduled to conclude at 2 pm, is going on smoothly though it began on a dull note at various polling stations due to early morning chill as most parts of Kashmir are reeling under sub-zero temperature, the officials said.
They said the polling picked up as the winter sun shone and long queues of voters were visible outside almost all polling stations across the Union Territory.
Over 6.30 lakh electors, including 3,03,275 female voters, are eligible to vote, the officials said, adding a total of 1,703 polling stations -- 1,028 in Kashmir division and 675 in Jammu division -- have been set up.
According to the figures released by the office of the State Election Commissioner, the Jammu division recorded 36.37 per cent polling till 11 am, while the Kashmir division recorded 16.08 per cent voting during the same period.
In Jammu, Poonch district is leading the voting chart with 43.88 per cent, followed by Samba at 42.01, Reasi (41.87), Rajouri (40.68), Jammu (36.64), Ramban (36.14), Kathua (34.45), Kishtwar (34.15), Doda (34.02) and Udhampur (24.56).
Kupwara district with a voter turnout of 33.43 per cent is leading the chart in Kashmir division and is followed by Bandipora at 30.77 per cent, Baramulla (25.56), Budgam (19.10), Kulgam (4.66), Anantnag (4.63), Pulwama (4.35) and Shopian (3.79).
In the final phase, 83 candidates, including 31 women, are in the fray for 13 DDC constituencies in Kashmir. In the Jammu division, there are 85 candidates, including 15 women, in the fray for 15 DDC constituencies.
Voting is also underway for 369 vacant panch and sarpanch posts.