Polls in the Shadow of Terror: 58% People Vote in Jammu and Kashmir

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Polls in the Shadow of Terror: 58% People Vote in Jammu and Kashmir

Voters at a polling booth in third phase of elections in Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir (PTI photo)

SRINAGAR:  Despite the shadow of terror and boycott call, 58% people came out to vote in the third of the five-phase assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir today. The turnout was nearly 6% from the assembly elections of 2008. The corresponding figure in the Lok Sabha polls in May was 25.43%. Jharkhand, which also went to polls, recorded 61% turnout - a jump from the 54.85% of 2009.
  1. "The people of Jammu and Kashmir are setting records in the elections by voting in large numbers, so also in Jharkhand. I commend and congratulate you as it will give a new power to the democracy," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an election meeting in Dhanbad.
  2. Polling took place for 16 seats across three key districts of Jammu and Kashmir -- Budgam, Pulwama and Baramulla -- parts of which faced Friday's serial terror attacks and pockets which traditionally boycotted polls.
  3. Of the three districts, Budgam recorded the highest polling, 70%. The turnout in Baramullah was 57% and Pulwama, 43%.
  4. Sopore, which witnessed only 1% voting in the Lok Sabha polls in May, recorded a turnout of 30% - a 30-year record.
  5. Barring a petrol bomb attack in Gulmarg and isolated incidents of stone-throwing in Baramulla, polling was peaceful.
  6. Till 3 pm, Uri, which witnessed a suicide attack on an army camp on Friday, registered the highest voter turnout of 72%. Other areas which recorded high turnouts include Charar-e-Sharif, 69%, Gulmarg, 62.5% and Beerwah, 55%.
  7. More than 56% Kashmiri Pandits displaced from the Valley voted in Jammu at special booths set up for them, Election Commission officials said.
  8. On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Srinagar - the first by the BJP in over a decade - and in Jammu's Samba."The finger that presses the EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) button is stronger than the one on the AK-47 trigger," he said.
  9. In Jharkhand, while Silli assembly constituency recorded the highest polling, 74.77%,Ranchi registered the lowest at 44.44%.
  10. The next phase of elections - the fourth - will be held on December 14. The counting of votes is on December 23.


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