Kashmir polls ends with 63 pc voting

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Srinagar, Dec 25: The seventh and last phase of the J&K assembly elections on Wednesday, Dec 24 turned out to be a huge success with 63 percent voting which breaks the record of 18 years. Voting ended peacefully despite fews unruly incidents.

The overall voting percentage in the state in the seven phases of voting was 63, poll officials calculated. Of more than 4.8 million eligible voters, over three million voters cast their ballot, the officials said. The region saw a relative peace during the last six years.

The first phase held Nov 17 saw 64 percent of electorate exercising their franchise. The polling in 10 constituencies in the Muslim dominated Kashmir Valley, the Hindu majority Jammu region and the mainly Buddhist Ladakh proved a turning point for other parts of the region vying for peace and development.

The second round Nov 23 saw even a higher turnout. It was 65 percent in two constituencies of the Kashmir Valley and four in the Jammu region. In a state that has so often resounded with cries of 'freedom', the sentiment during the elections, analysts say, was one of longing for better quality of life. The third phase recorded a voting of 62 percent in the five constituencies, which went to polls Nov 30. Fifty-five percent of the electorate voted Dec 7 in the fourth phase of the elections.

The fifth phase Dec 13, which saw some violence and the killing of an anti-poll protester, witnessed 59 percent of the electorate participating in the exercise. The sixth and penultimate round of balloting Dec 17 ended peacefully with about 63 percent of the electorate turning out to vote.

And in the last phase of elections Wednesday, the people in Jammu and Kashmir again defied Muslim separatists' boycott call and turned out in large numbers even in Srinagar - the urban hub of the secessionist movement. At least 52 percent voting was recorded in 21 constituencies that went to polls in the last crucial round of balloting.

OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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