SRINAGAR: The five-phase Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir concluded on Saturday and the State recorded 66 per cent polling in all the phases, highest in last 25 years. On the last phase of polling, Congress minister was booked for attack on BJP candidate in Jammu and a sarpanch was shot dead by militants in Kashmir.
J&K Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula said about 76% voters exercised their franchise in 5th and final phase of Assembly polls today.
20 constituencies spread over three districts of Kathua, Jammu and Rajouri in Jammu province went to polls today.
Narula said Bani constituency recorded 83.20 % polling, Basholi constituency recorded 78.50%, Kathua 80.47%, Billawar 77.60%, Hiranagar(SC), 80.17%, Nagrota 81%, Jammu East 66.05% , Jammu West 65% Bishnah 80.22 %, R. S. Pura (SC) 77.79 %, Suchetgarh 80%, Marh 82.45%, Raipur Domana (SC) 77.41 % , Akhnoor 82.97%, Chhamb (SC) 82%, Nowshera 81.70%, Darhal 81%, Rajouri 75%, Kalakote 74% and Gandhinagar 60 per cent.
He said elaborate security arrangements were made to facilitate voters to exercise their franchise in a free and fair atmosphere. “The poll percentage may increase after consolidation of figures.”
Over 18.28 lakh voters including 959011 male and 869891 female voters were eligible to cast their votes and 213 candidates were in the fray.
Narula said the overall percentage for 2014 Assembly Elections of all the five phases has been recorded as 66%, which is 5% more than 2008 Assembly elections, when the overall voter percentage stood at 61%.
The poll per centage of 66 per cent is highest recorded by the State in last 25 years.
In a poll related incident, police lodged an FIR against Congress minister Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, who is contesting from Billawar assembly constituency in Jammu, after his supporters allegedly attacked a cavalcade of BJP candidate Dr Nirmal Singh last evening.
Although Singh and his supporters were not injured in the attack but some vehicles carrying BJP workers were damaged in the attack by stick-wielding men.
According to sources, Sharma was booked for leading the Congress workers, who attacked the BJP candidate and his supporters.
Police has also lodged FIR against independent candidate Rajinder Singh and others for poll code violence and indulging in violence in Kathua, which went to polls today.
Meanwhile, militants shot dead 70-year-old sarpanch Ghulam Ahmad Bhat at Bomai village, Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district this morning.
Bhat had campaigned for independent candidate from Sopore constituency, Irshad Ahmad Kar son of former J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Rasool Kar.
He had survived assassination attempt in April 2013 when militants fired at him near his home. He received injuries in the arm and remained hospitalized for some time.
Bhat is the third elected panchayat member to have been killed by militants in Valley since election process started in the State.