Jammu : The fifth phase of District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir is underway in dipping temperatures. Polling is being held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A total of 37 DDC constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir are polling for 58 vacant Sarpanch and 218 vacant Panch seats in the fifth phase.
About 9.46 per cent voter turnout recorded in the first two hours across different constituencies in several districts on Thursday, officials said.
Shopian, Pulwama and Ganderbal saw least activity with Kashmir division recording an overall 4.81 per cent polling.
Samba, Jammu and Rajouri saw maximum polling taking Jammu division scores to 13.58 per cent.
The figures from State Election Commissioner, in Kashmir Division, show Pulwama polling at 1.85 per cent, Baramulla 8.01, Kulgam 3.94, Shopian 0.47, Anantnag 3.19, Bandipora 6.61, Ganderbal 3.46, Kupwara 5.19 and Budgam 8.34 till 9 am.
Similarly, in Jammu division, Kishtwar has recorded voting percentage of 10.57 per cent, Udhampur 8, Jammu 16.63, Kathua 12.60, Ramban 9.62, Doda 11.17, Samba 17.14, Poonch 14.34, Rajouri 15.72 and Reasi 12.15 in the same time.
State Election Commissioner K.K. Sharma has said there are 17 in the Kashmir division and 20 in the Jammu division.
In the 17 DDC constituencies of Kashmir, there are 155 candidates in fray, including 30 women, while in Jammu division, 144 candidates, including 40 women, are contesting.
There are 125 Sarpanch vacancies notified in the 5th phase and out of these 30 have been elected unopposed. There shall be a contest in 58 constituencies and 175 candidates, including 51 women, are in fray.
Similarly, out of the total 1,412 Panch vacancies notified in this phase, 218 constituencies will go for elections with 527 candidates including 137 female candidates in the fray.
In the 5th phase, he said, 827,519 electors are eligible to cast their votes and comprise 433,285 male and 394,234 female voters. Among these, 439,529 are from the Jammu division and 387,990 from the Kashmir division.
He said that a total of 2,104 polling stations have been setup across the UT for this phase, of which, 914 are in Jammu division and 1,190 are in Kashmir division.
Of the total polling stations, 1,193 are hyper sensitive, 472 are sensitive and 439 have been categorised as normal.
Out of the 2,104 polling stations, polling for the Sarpanch vacancies will be held on 271 polling stations and for Panch vacancies on 229 polling stations.
In view of Covid-19 pandemic, adequate arrangements have been made for the safety of all including the voters.
Sanitisers, thermal scanners and face masks have been arranged at the polling stations.
IANS report with edits