DDC Phase-2: Kashmir Participation Half Of Jammu Average

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SRINAGAR: In the second phase of the DDC polls, Kashmir’s participation was 33.34 per cent against the 65.54 per cent of the poll percentage that Jammu recorded. Of 43 DDC segments that went to polls in the phase-2, Kashmir saw the elections to 25 segments and Jammu to 18.

Voters in a queue at a polling booth in Karhua on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, during DDC elections. Photo: DIPR

Final voting percentage for the second phase of DDC elections for J&K is 48.62% while as on November 28 in the first phase of maiden DDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir recorded over 51 percent voting.

A total of 3,62,766 of the 70,08,42 registered electors accounting for 51.76 turnout cast their votes across 20 J&K districts, official data shared by Election Commissioner, K K Sharma on Twitter, reads. The voters comprise 1, 93,375 men and 1, 69,391 women as per the official data.

In the second Phase of DDC Elections the total number 201792 male voters and 175609 female voters casted their votes in J&K. In Kashmir the number of 73873 males voted and 62117 females’ casted votes which are much lower to Jammu where a total of 127919 males voted while as 113492 females exercised their franchise.

There were certain belts that stay away from the process.

In Kashmir, the least polled district was Pulwama where two segments cumulatively recorded 8.67 per cent of polling. It was followed by Shopian’s two blocks with 17.28 per cent participation.

Why people did not vote:  People from different areas of South Kashmir ‘boycotted’ the DDC polls stating that participating in these elections won’t bring back Article 370, and its “better to stay away.” In eight booths of Tral, not a single vote was cast. Residents from Rathsuna, Shairafabad, Nowdal, Midoora, Pinglish said that polling in the past has brought them no relief.

In north Kashmir, Syed Ali Geelani’s ancestral village also boycotted polls, records an insignificant 0.9 % voting. Residents of the Duroo in Sopore said they follow the tradition. The village recorded only 15 votes out of 1600 registered voters. A total of 15 candidates were in the fray in the second phase of the polls.  There are 10 candidates fighting for Sarpanch seat and five for Panch berths in the Zaingeer belt.

At the same time, however, a large number of people voted. Those who voted said that it is true that DDCs can’t restore “our special status but we must choose the best candidates so that we can see development on the ground at least.”

According to officials, 15.2 per cent votes were cast in Tral block. Of 3977 votes, 2236 votes were cast by men while 1741 votes were cast by women, an official said.

Karmulla village recorded the highest number of votes with 59.80 per cent.

In Baramulla district of Zaingeer where hundreds of voters turned up to elect their representative many voters said though they know that participating in elections have no bearing on the resolution of Kashmir issue, they have voted only with a hope that it will bring development in their areas.

Many voters also said that keeping Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at bay was their sole reason for taking part in the elections. “There has been a lot of injustice with us so far, we don’t want to suffer any further,” they said.

The district wise final voter turnout Jammu and Kashmir varied as in the Phase 2 of the DDC polls in Kashmir, Bandipora emerged with highest voter turnout at 69.66 percent, while as South Kashmir’s Pulwama, only 8.67 percent votes were polled.

Similarly in Jammu, the highest voter turnout was recorded in Poonch with 75 percent polling while the lowest voter turnout was recorded in Kathua, 60.10 percent.

The district wise voter turnout in Phase 2 of the DDC polls in Kashmir is: Baramulla, 28.95, Srinagar 33.78, Kulgam 29.90, Shopian 17. 28, Anantnag 16.09, Ganderbal 49.14, Kupwara 58.69, and Budgam 43.5.

Contrary to Kashmir where at most places people stayed away from ballot boxes and polling stations the voter turnout was mostly below 50 in Jammu, the story was different as all districts recorded above 60 percent voter turnout.

In Jammu, the voter turnout was 69.97 percent, followed by In Udhampur with 62. 51 percent, in Kistwar it was 61.64, in Ramban 66.23, Doda 64.80, Samba 66.38, Rajouri 60.21, Reasi 69.27.

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