The high turnout in the Legislative Council polls on Monday indicates that the Panchs and Sarpanchs who had resigned through paid advertisements in local dailies were not serious about their resignations.
According to the official data, the overall voting percentage for the two Legislative Council seats of Kashmir division was over 95 percent. A total of 17,912 voters were expected to exercise their franchise out of which more than 17,000 participated.
After the death of a Sarpanch in north Kashmir, a large number of Panchs and Sarpanchs had resigned by issuing paid advertisements in local dailies. The resigned Panchs and Sarpanchs had alleged that they were being used as ‘scapegoats’ by the political parties of the state which had neither empowered them nor provided them any security.
According to Rural development minister, Ali Mohammed Sagar, “Around 58 Sarpanchs had come forward with their resignations. But due to some technical issues, their resignations were not accepted.”
He had said that the aggrieved Sarpanchs were asked to complete certain modalities so that their resignations were accepted. “They did not complete the formalities and hence the process remained incomplete. So no Sarpanch has resigned from any Panchayat,” Sagar added. He maintained that the process of resignation which an elected Panch or Sarpanch has to follow was not as simple as was speculated in the media.
“The polling was conducted in a free and fair manner and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere,” divisional commissioner, Kashmir Asgar, Hassan Samoon said.
In Kashmir Division, Srinagar district recorded the highest poll percentage of 100 percent but, surprisingly, Kargil district recorded the lowest turnout of just over 65 percent
Pulwama in south Kashmir and Baramulla in north recorded turnouts of 86.75 % and 88.28 %, respectively.Budgam (91.56 %) Islamabad (95.87 %), Kupwara (90.25 %), Kulgam (92.84 %), Shopian (92.68 %), Bandipora (97.80 %), Ganderbal (97.80 %) and Leh recorded (93.28 %) voter turnout.
The electronic voting machines have been stored in the strong room established at SKICC, where counting of votes will take place on Thursday December 6.