JAMMU: JAMMU: The fifth and final phase of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir ended peacefully Saturday, with over 65 percent of the voters casting their ballot in 20 constituencies, officials said.
"Polling ended peacefully in all the 20 constituencies of Jammu, Rajouri and Kathua districts at 4 p.m. today (Saturday)," an Election Commission official told IANS.
Initial figures indicated that 65 percent voters turned up to exercise their franchise till the voting process ended.
"However, these figures are subject to variation as final reports about poll percentages are still coming in. The day's poll process was peaceful," the official said.
A total of 213 candidates were in fray.
Eleven constituencies voted in Jammu, four in Rajouri and five in Kathua district.
Counting for all the 87 assembly seats will be held Dec 23.
70 Per Cent Turnout in Jharkhand
RANCHI: Over 25 lakh people - more than 70 percent of the electorate - Saturday exercised their franchise in the fifth and last round of the assembly election in Jharkhand, officials said.
Sixteen constituencies voted Saturday in the final phase. Of the 16 seats, seven were reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
"In the fifth and final phase Saturday, the state witnessed a record 70.42 percent polling. The highest polling was recorded in Pakur with 75.5 percent, followed by Littipara with 75 percent," an Election Commission official said.
The lowest turnout was recorded in Mahagama at 66.32 percent, the official said, adding that polling was by and large peaceful. Continue Reading
Security arrangements along the Indo-Pak border have been strengthened in the three border districts of Jammu region with troops put on alert for the polls.
"Security grid along the Indo-Pak border has been put on alert. Multi-tier security has been put in place", the Divisional Commissioner said.
BJP has high hopes
BJP has high stakes in this phase as it had got 10 seats in 2008 Assembly elections followed by Congress with 5 seats, NC 2, PDP 1 and two seats going to Independents.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu Shant Manu said 400 security companies (40,000 security men) have been deployed for today's polling apart from regular deployment of police forces.
Deputy Chief Minister and Congress candidate Tara Chand, who won the Chhamb seat in Jammu in 1996, 2002 and 2008, is fighting to retain the seat this time again.
Besides, Congress candidate from Akhnoor and Minister Sham Lal Sharma is looking at scoring a hat-trick.
Another Congress Minister Raman Bhalla is also looking at repeating his victory of 2002 and 2008 in Gandhi Nagar seat.
Congress Minister Manohar Lal Sharma is engaged in a direct fight with BJP at Billawar in Kathua district.While PDP has fielded six sitting MLAs including Wani, it has nominated fresh faces in the three constituencies.
Sitting minister of National Conference Ajay Sadhotra will take on BJP in Marh Assembly segment.
Besides, two-time MP and former minister Lal Singh, who switched sides from Congress to BJP, is contesting from Basholi seat. Similarly, former NC MP Talib Hussain is trying his luck on a BJP ticket from Rajouri segment.
NC candidate for Nagrota Devender Singh Rana, who is close to Omar Abdullah, will face his maiden contest.