n Jammu and Kashmir, polling for the first phase of panchayat elections concluded this afternoon peacefully. The elections are being held in nine phases across the state.
In Jammu Division, polling was held in 29 blocks of seven districts today. Huge enthusiasm was seen among the electorate who came out in large number right from the morning despite severe cold conditions to cast their votes. In the first phase polling, 85 sarpanch and 1,676 panches have been elected unopposed while voting took place on the remaining 420 sarpanch and 1,845 panch seats, for which 5,585 candidates were in the fray.
In the Kashmir region, polling was held in 16 blocks spread over six districts of central and north Kashmir in this phase. An overall 64.5 percent voter turnout was recorded in Kashmir Division. The Election Commission Office is yet to release the final figures. The statistics from the districts suggested that in Leh it was 60 percent and 77.7 percent in Kargil. In Srinagar, the voter turnout was 21.8 percent, Budgam 30.14 percent, Kupwara 70 percent, Baramulla 69.1 percent and in Bandipora district it was nearly 56.2 percent.
In Leh district of Ladakh region, polling was held in all the six blocks of the district. Our correspondent reports that 12 Panchayats of the 32 spread over the six blocks have already declared unopposed and the election was held in only 20 Panchayats in the first phase today. In Leh district, there are 95 panchayats and polling will be held in three phases.
The 2nd phase polling is scheduled for November 20th.