Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], November 28 (ANI): Polling for 43 constituencies in the first phase of eight-phased District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir concluded with 51.76 per cent voter turnout, an election official said on Saturday.
"A total of 43 constituencies--25 in Kashmir province and 18 in Jammu province-- went to the polls in the first phase of DDC elections. It was conducted in all 20 districts of UT. Of the 7 lakh voters in Jammu and Kashmir, 2,12,224 voted in Jammu province and 1,50,522 in Kashmir province. The voting percentage in Jammu division is 64.2 per cent and in Kashmir division, it is 40.65 per cent. Total voter turnout for the first phase of DDC elections is 51.76 per cent. Riyasi district of Jammu province recorded the highest 74.6 voting percentage," said KK Sharma, State Election Commissioner during a press conference here.
"Over 3,62,000 voters exercised their voting rights including over 1,93,000 males and over 1,69,000 females."
Sharma said that the elections were largely peaceful except "one incident where a boy threw a stone and police has taken cognisance of it."
The election official also appreciated the participation of voters and political parties in the DDC election.
"The participation of political parties and independent candidates are appreciated. Voters' participation is also appreciated as they voted while braving the chilling cold. It is a good thing for people of Jammu and Kashmir," Sharma said.
Sharma further said that the Election Commission has also started preparations for 43 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir which will go to polls in phase 2 on December 1.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh hailed the voter turnout in DDC polls.
"High voter turn-out in the first phase of #JammuAndKashmir's first-ever #DDC_Election is an expression of pent up aspirations which have found outlet in the grassroot democracy provided by PM Sh @narendramodi," Singh tweeted.
Polling for the first phase of the DDCs in Jammu and Kashmir concluded at 2 pm with precautionary measures for COVID-19 in place. Voting was held across 43 constituencies-- 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu. It began at 7 am.
Votes will be counted on December 22.
Some parties including National Conference, People's Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference and CPI(M), formed People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and are fighting the maiden DDC elections together. BJP and Congress are also contesting the elections. (ANI)