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Assembly polls: Moderate in Kashmir valley, brisk in Jharkhand

Assembly polls: Moderate in Kashmir valley, brisk in Jharkhand

Srinagar/Ranchi: Moderate polling was Tuesday recorded in the nine constituencies of the Kashmir Valley which went to polls in the second of the five-phase Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir while about 16.32 per cent turnout was recorded in the first two hours in 20 Jharkhand Assembly constituencies across seven Maoist-hit districts.

In Kashmir, nearly five per cent voter turn out was recored in the first one hour. Polling was by and large peaceful.

Serpentine queues could be seen at many polling stations as voters waited for their turn. According to official figures, Lolab Assembly segment recorded the highest turnout of 10.5 per cent in the first hour of polling.

Kulgam Assembly segment also recorded a good turnout of 5.14 per cent during the corresponding period. Langet recorded 4.76 per cent followed by Devsar at 4.43 per cent and Handwara in north Kashmir Kupwar district at 4.02 per cent.

Noorabad Assembly segment in south Kashmir Kulgam district recorded 3.6 per cent, Home-Shalibugh had 1.9 per cent of polling. Data for Kupwara and Karnah was not yet available.

In Jharkhand, Brisk polling was being reported from many places, an Election Commission official said.

"Long queues can be seen at several booths," he said. Barring the replacement of a defective EVM at one of the booths in the Jaganathpur assembly constituency, polling was going on smoothly and peacefully, the official said. Amid tight security, polling began at 7 AM in all the 20 constituencies.

While voting will end at 3 PM in 18 constituencies, it will continue upto 5 PM at Jamshedpur (West) and Jamshedpur (East) seats, the official said. A total of 44,31,900 voters, including 21,72,982 women, are eligible to cast their franchise in 5,048 polling stations. 223 candidates, including 35 women, are in the fray.

The EC has deployed 20 general observers, 10 expenditure observers, two police observers, two awareness observers and 512 micro observers for this phase of polling.

A total 349 polling stations have been selected for webcasting across the 20 constituencies. Besides former chief ministers Arjun Munda (Kharsawan) and Madhu Koda (Majhgaon), former deputy chief minister Raghubar Das who is currently the national vice president of BJP (Jamshedpur East), three state ministers including Banna Gupta (Jamshedpur-West), Geetashree Oraon (Sisai), Champai Soren (Seraikella) and several sitting and former MLAs are trying their luck.

First phase polling was held in 13 Maoist-affected seat of the state on November 25 last which witnessed a turnout of 62 per cent. Five-stage elections are being held to the 81-member Jharkhand assembly This is the third Assembly election in Jharkhand which was carved out of Bihar in 2000.

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