Srinagar, Nov 29: Voting began on Thursday for the fifth phase of panchayat polls across Jammu and Kashmir amid unprecedented security arrangements.
An official spokesman said here today that polling began at 2,512 polling stations including 769 in Kashmir division and 1743 in Jammu division.
There is no change in voting time which remains from 0800 hrs to 1400 hrs, he added.
Polling, which started on a dull note, has now started picking up as the day is progressing. However, in some areas, the scene was entirely different and despite chilly conditions, electorate could be seen casting their votes.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shaleen Kabra said that 848 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive including 755 in Kashmir division and 93 in Jammu division.
He said 4,763 candidates are in the fray for 309 Sarpanch and 1,534 Panch seats in phase-V while 118 Sarpanchs and 1046 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this Phase. He said in the areas going to polls in Phase-V, electorate of 4,04,283 will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies and 270295 for Panch constituencies.
“Photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station,” he said.
Mr Kabra said in the phase-I of panchayat polls held on November 17, 2018, 74.1 per cent polling was recorded across J&K including 64.5 per cent in Kashmir division and 79.4 per cent in Jammu division.
He said in the phase-II of panchayat polls held on November 20 2018, overall 71.1 per cent polling was witnessed across the State with an overwhelming 80.4 per cent polling in Jammu division and 52.2 per cent in Kashmir division. He said in phase-III, the State witnessed a polling percentage of 75.2 per cent which includes 55.7 per cent in Kashmir division and 83.0 per cent in Jammu division.
Similarly, in phase-IV, he said, the state witnessed an overall polling percentage of 71.3 per cent, including 82.4 per cent in Jammu division and 32.3 per cent in Kashmir division.
He said results have been announced for all these phases by the respective Returning Officers.