In the second phase of the district development council (DDC) polls, 48.62% people exercised their franchise in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

The voting percentage has dipped in Kashmir while it increased marginally in Jammu division as compared to Phase 1. While only one-third of the total electorate cast their votes in Kashmir, it was two-thirds in the Jammu division.

State election commissioner KK Sharma said overall 48.62% electorate voted in the second phase in J&K. “The polling percentage was 33.34% in Kashmir and 65.54% in Jammu division,” he said. In the first phase on Saturday, 51.7% voting was recorded – 40.65% in Kashmir and 64.2% in Jammu.

The voting was held in 43 seats across the UT to decide the fate of 321 candidates in fray in the second phase – 196 in Kashmir and 125 in Jammu. As many as 2,142 polling stations were established across the UT. The main competition is between People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Apni Party.

The SEC said the polls were conducted peacefully across the region. “Overall, the situation in all 20 districts was fine. There was no untoward incident reported in Jammu or Kashmir. Only a single incident of an argument over validity of the identity proof of a person took place in Jammu,” he said.

In Kashmir, the highest polling was recorded in Bandipora where 69.66% electorate voted, followed by Kupwara at 58.69%. Sharma said Pulwama recorded lowest of 8.67% polling in Kashmir– a terse higher than 6% of Phase 1.

In Jammu, the highest voting was in Poonch at 75.07%, followed by Jammu at 69.97%. The lowest percentage in Kathua district at 60.1%. Of the 7.90 lakh voters eligible for voting in the second phase, 1,35,990 casted their vote in Kashmir and 2,41,411 in Jammu.

In Kashmir Division, the polling percentage recorded in Budgam was 43.51%, Srinagar 33.78%, Kulgam 29.90%, Baramulla 28.95%, Shopian 17.28%, Anantnag 16.09%, and Pulwama 8.67%.

Similarly, in Jammu division, poll percentage of 61.64% was recorded in Kishtwar, 64.80% in Doda, 66.23% in Ramban, 62.51% in Udhampur, 66.38% in Samba and 69.27 in Reasi% and 60.21% in Rajouri.

The DDC elections are the first major electoral exercise taking place in Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370 in August last year and the bifurcation of the former state into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The eight-phase election will end on December 19 and the counting will be held on December 22. The third phase of elections will be held on December 4.

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