J&K witness record 70 percent polling

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J&K witness record 70 percent pollingPolling for the first phase of assembly elections for 13 seats in Jharkhand and 15 segments in Jammu and Kashmir ended peacefully today.

Jammu and Kashmir today recorded one its highest polling figures with over 70 per cent voting in the first phase of Assembly polls. Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi said, the final figure is likely to go up. He said the figures in all the 15 assembly seats that went to polls in the state today, spread over 7 districts, saw an increase in voting percentage as compared to the last Assembly polls and the Lok Sabha elections. The poll body also called the polling held today in Jammu and Kashmir as hundred per cent flawless as there was not a single incident reported which could have vitiated the polls process.

Despite poll boycott calls by separatist groups like all factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF , voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise. The heavy turnout of voters in the first phase is a clear rebuff to separatists.

Sonawari assembly constituency in Bandipora district recorded maximum turnout of voters with 80.10% followed by 79.6% in Doda Assembly constituency. Impressive turnout was also recorded in Bandipora, Ganderbal, Leh, Kargil, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts. No major incident of violence has been reported from anywhere. In the 2008 Assembly elections, an average of over 60 per cent polling was witnessed. Twelve sitting MLAs, including seven ministers, are among 123 candidates whose fate has been sealed in ballot boxes.

Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said Jharkhand registered a turnout of about 62 percent. He said two incidents were reported from the state, in Palamu and Chhatra districts, which could require re-polling. AIR Correspondent reports that people in Jharkhand came out in good numbers despite boycott call given by the naxals. Nearly 40 thousand security personnel of Central and State police forces were deployed for this phase of elections.

Enthusiasm for polling in the naxal affected areas of Jharkhand was evident since seven in the morning when the poll started. In the overall 62 percent figure of state, poling in Bhawnathpur was highest with nearly 70 percent and in Chatra, it was lowest with 54 percent. The policy of handing over all the sensitive booths to Central Police Forces worked well, as no serious untoward incidence was reported.

Important leaders whose fate was sealed today in the EVM machine is Congress state President Sukhdev Bhagat, Minister K N Tripathy, AJSU K K Bhagat, RJD state President Grinath Singh and Anant Pratap Dev and Radha Krishna Kishore of the BJP.

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