|Voters give a tight slap to separatists|
|Baramulla, Kupwara record highest voter turnout in panchayat elections|
|S Tahir-ul Haq|
Early Times Report
BARAMULLA, Nov 27: In the Phase-IV of Panchayat Polls held on Tuesday, the overall poll percentage of 71.3% was witnessed across the State, while as Baramulla recorded highest voter turnout 62.4%, followed by Kupwara 56.1%, and Bandipora 24.4%.
Despite the harsh cold and strike call by the separatists, people turned up in large numbers and participated in the panchayat elections.
People came to cast their votes for the fourth phase of panchayat elections at almost five places in north Kashmir including Mawar Qalamabad, Bandipora, Bijhama, Wailoo and Singhpora.
The authorities had made elaborate security arrangements in all three districts of north Kashmir and the voters in huge number casted their votes at different polling booths.
An old aged voter from Bijhama Uri told early Times that from past many the area he had not seen any kind of development, and it was a chance to choose their representatives who could work for the benefit of the rural masses".
Another voter from Singhpora Pattan informed ET over the phone that their village had been deprived of basic facilities; the condition of inner links was not good, and there was no access to safe drinking water. Therefore they came out to vote, so that Panch and Sarpanch can address their problems.
Meanwhile polling staff of some polling stations in Block Singhpora of Pattan area accused authorities of providing them poor facilities.
Meanwhile it is learnt that, 5470 candidates were in the fray for 339 Sarpanch and 1749 Panch seats in Phase-IV, while 99 Sarpanchs and 969 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this Phase.
According to the Chief Electoral Officer J&K, Shaleen Kabra, an overwhelming 82.4% polling was witnessed in Jammu division and 32.3% in Kashmir division.
Giving district-wise details, Kabra said that Kupwara witnessed 56.1%, Bandipora 24.4%, Baramulla 62.4%, Budgam 46.3%, Pulwama 0.6 %, Kulgam 14.5 %, Anantnag 6.2 %, Kishtwar 82.3%, Doda 84.6%, Ramban 81.1%, Udhampur 78.9%, Kathua 80.7%, Jammu 85.2 %, Rajouri 81.8% and Poonch 82.5%.