DDC Polls: Shopian Records Highest Turnout Till 11 Am

Ruben Fields
November 29, 2020

Over 22 per cent polling was recorded till 11 am in the first ever District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, with Samba district recording the highest voting percentage at 36.40 and Pulwama the lowest at 3.51 so far, officials said. The result was quite startling. The polling has begun for the DDC polls and bypolls to panchyats and urban local bodies across Jammu and Kashmir for the first phase of the eight phase process, the officials said.

Braving sub-zero temperatures, a large number of women and men came out to vote. Despite extreme cold, people are coming out to vote and they come out of their free will. Before the BDC elections, panchayat elections were conducted by the then governor Satya Pal Malik in November-December 2018, which also met with little success as more than 60% panch and sarpanch berths remained vacant in Kashmir. Hundreds of Gorkhas and Valmiki voters, who became eligible for voting for the first time since the abrogation of the special status, also cast their votes in Jammu.

The BDC elections, held immediately after the reading down of Article 370, had failed to revive any political activity.

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The eight-phase DDC election is being seen as a triangular contest between the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, an amalgam of several mainstream political parties, including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, which are seeking the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's special status revoked on August 5 past year by the Central Government. The two soldiers were later evacuated to the nearest medical facility where they succumbed to their injuries, the officials said, adding that they have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to track down the assailants. It is scheduled to end at 2 pm, the official said.

In the union territory's Kashmir division, Shopian district has so far recorded the highest polling percentage at 29.34, according to figures released by the office of the Jammu and Kashmir Election Commissioner.

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