SRINAGAR: Voting for the eight phase of panchayat elections has begun across the state amidst heightened security. Polling is scheduled to end at 2 PM today.
While 43 sarpanch and 681 panch have been elected unopposed, polling will take place for 331 sarpanch and 2007 panch seats, with 6304 candidates in the fray. An electorate of 5,15,121 will be voting for sarpanch constituencies and 4,19,775 for panch constituencies.
In this phase, 2633 polling stations have been set up - 550 in Kashmir division and 2083 in Jammu division. Of these, 361 have been categorised as 'hypersensitive', including 171 in Kashmir division and 190 in Jammu division.
As per the Election Commission, Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) have been ensured in all the polling stations for facilitating the voters. Security arrangements have also been made including the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
In the seventh phase of polling, an overall voter turnout of 75.3 per cent was recorded in the state, with Jammu division witnessing a voter turnout of 84.8 per cent and Kashmir division recording a voter turnout of 30.3 per cent.
Polling took place on Tuesday in as many as 30 blocks in 15 districts of the state. These include 14 blocks of six districts in Jammu region and 16 blocks falling in nine districts of Kashmir Valley.
Reasi district witnessed the highest voter turnout of 86.7 per cent followed by Poonch (86.6 per cent) and Rajouri (84 per cent). More than 5,550 candidates contested for 341 sarpanch and 1,798 panch seats in this phase.
The ninth and last phase of polling is slated to be held on December 11.