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Below 3 per cent polling in Shopian and Pulwama; Ladakh sees 64 per cent turnout


New Delhi, May 06: Less than three per cent voters exercised their franchise in Shopian and Pulwama districts of Anantnag constituency, while Ladakh recorded nearly 64 per cent turnout as polling in Jammu and Kashmir came to an end on Monday.

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Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar said the overall voter turnout in the six Lok Sabha seats in the state was 44.51 per cent, which was five per cent down from the 49.52 per cent recorded in the 2014 election.

The overall voting percentage in Anantnag, which voted in three phases, stood at 8.76 per cent.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Over 62 per cent turnout in 5th phase; violence in West Bengal

This is the second-lowest turnout for any Lok Sabha constituency in the state since the eruption of militancy, staying marginally above the 7.2 per cent registered in the bypoll to the Srinagar parliamentary seat in 2017.

"Shopian district recorded a turnout of 2.88 per cent, while Pulwama registered a turnout of 2.14 per cent. The average for the two districts was 2.81 per cent," Kumar said.

Kumar said the election was largely peaceful, with two incidents of grenade attacks at polling stations in the militancy-infested south Kashmir districts, but no one was hurt in these attacks.

"The grenade at Rohmoo landed and exploded inside the premises, but there was no damage. The other one at Tiki did not explode," he added.

The election in Anantnag seat was divided into three phases. Anantnag district had voted on April 23 that saw a turnout of 13.6 per cent. This was followed by the second phase in Kulgam on April 29, which recorded 10.3 per cent voting.

The official said the voter turnout in Ladakh was 63.70 per cent and could go up as reports from 15 polling stations, where no communication system existed, were awaited.

Giving constituency-wise details, he said Jammu seat recorded the highest turnout of 72.16 per cent, followed by Udhampur (70.2), Ladakh (63.7), Baramulla (34.9), Srinagar (14.27) and Anantnag (8.76).

On the Congress' demand for a re-election at two polling stations following violence there, Kumar said his office had received the application, but no malpractice was reported.

"Polling agents of two parties exchanged blows outside the polling station. ARO, zonal magistrate and sectoral magistrate visited the areas and did not find any malpractice," he added.

Kumar said as many as 101 polling staff had to be airlifted to the polling stations -- 39 in Anantnag seat and 62 in Ladakh seat. He, however, dismissed suggestions that airlifting in south Kashmir was done due to security reasons.


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