The second phase of Urban Local Body (ULB) elections in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Wednesday saw all shops and business establishment closed in many parts of Srinagar and in other districts as well. This phase has a total of 1,029 candidates contesting across J&K.
The shutdown in poll-bound areas is going on following the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership.
Ahead of elections, authorities have tightened security in all areas. Mobile internet speed has also been reduced to 2G in all poll-bound areas.
In the second phase, a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate died due to the heart attack. As per reports, Azad Singh, 62, a retired government employee, died soon after casting his vote. He was the resident of Sunaari Mohallah, an area of Ramban district.
Reports said that most polling stations across Kashmir were deserted, in Bandipora, Baramulla,
Reports from Zainakote and Maloora area, which lie in the outskirts of Srinagar, said that photojournalists were thrashed by voters and were stopped from performing their duties. In Maloora, a polling officer refused to provide details to reporters even after they showed their passes.
Congress candidate Saleem Rather, who is contesting from Maloora told NewsClick that elections are not been carried out in a “fair” manner. The authorities have changed the location of some polling stations to somewhere else where voters can’t go on foot, he added.
He alleged that this was an attempt by the BJP to keep voters away from polling, so that the BJP candidate wins.
South Kashmir witnessed a mixed response from voters. In Anantnag district, a voter was thrashed by angry protestors outside the polling station.
According to reports, a local resident of Khanbal Anantnag had came to cast his vote at the Government Boys High School Khanabal. While coming out, the voter was dragged by a group of youth who first asked him why he cast the vote and then beat him up for participating in the elections.
Polling, which started at 6 am and finished 4 pm, with a huge turnout in Jammu and a poor show in Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shaleen Kabra said that overall there was 30% polling in Phase-II.
The highest polling was witnessed in Jammu division which is 76% in 214 wards and Kashmir division witnessed 3% polling in 49 wards, and in Kashmir recorded the highest 36% voting. Highest polling in Jammu was witnessed in Reasi with 84.6%.
He said the cumulative polling percentage till date is 46.7% with 67.3% voting recorded in Jammu division and 8.34% in Kashmir Division in Phase-I and Phase-II.
The CEO said that 544 polling stations were designated across the State for Phase-II with 270 polling stations in Kashmir Division and 274 in Jammu Division.
He said 1,029 candidates are in the fray for 263 Municipal Wards for Phase-II with 881 candidates in Jammu division and 148 in Kashmir division for Phase-II.
In the first two phases, he said, 4,36,285 voters have exercised their franchise out of a total of 9,33,000 voters who were eligible to vote for these two phases.