Kashmir records 64.5 pc polling in first phase of Panchayat elections

JAMMU: Over 64 per cent of electorate voted Saturday in the first phase of Panchayat elections in Kashmir while an impressive turnout of 79.5 per cent was recorded in Jammu region, officials said.

The turnout in rural areas was significantly higher in Kashmir Valley unlike during the recent urban local bodies elections where barely four per cent of the electorate voted.

Separatists who asked people to boycott the polls had called for a strike on Saturday. Major regional parties the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party too had decided not to participate in the local bodies polls.

As per officials, total polling percentage in Kashmir division was recorded 64.5 per cent as 1.05 lakh of 1.63 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the Valley, they said.

Giving details, they said Srinagar district recorded 21.8 per cent followed by 30.14 per cent in Budgam, 70 per cent in Kupwara, 69.1 per cent in Baramulla, 56.2 per cent in Bandipora, 60 per cent in Leh and 77.7 per cent in Kargil. (AGENCIES)