Voting was underway on Thursday for the fifth phase of panchayat polls across Jammu and Kashmir amid tight security.
Voting is underway on Thursday for the fifth phase of panchayat polls at over 2,500 polling stations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Polling began at 2,512 polling stations including 769 in Kashmir division and 1,743 in Jammu division at 8 am, the officials said. They said 848 polling stations have been categorized as hypersensitive including 755 in Kashmir division and 93 in Jammu division.
The officials said 4,763 candidates are in the fray for 309 sarpanch and 1,534 panch seats in the fifth phase while 118 sarpanchs and 1,046 panchs have been elected unopposed. In these areas, an electorate of 404283 have the right to exercise their franchise for sarpanch constituencies and 270295 for panch constituencies. The officials said in the first phase of the polls held on 17 November, 74.1 per cent polling was recorded across J-K including 64.5 per cent in Kashmir division and 79.4 per cent in Jammu division.
In the second phase held on 20 November, overall 71.1 per cent polling was witnessed across the state 80.4 per cent polling in Jammu division and 52.2 per cent in Kashmir division. The officials said in the third phase, the state witnessed a polling percentage of 75.2 per cent,which includes 55.7 per cent in Kashmir division and 83.0 per cent in Jammu division. In the fourth phase, the state witnessed an overall polling percentage of 71.3 per cent, including 82.4 per cent in Jammu division and 32.3 per cent in Kashmir division. The officials said the results have been announced for all these phases by respective returning officers.