Srinagar, Dec 1 : Voting began on Saturday for the sixth phase of panchayat polls across Jammu and Kashmir amid unprecedented security arrangements.
Voting began at 3,174 polling stations, where 1,054,977 voters will exercise their democratic right.
Polling began on a dull note at most of the polling stations in the Kashmir valley, where the mercury was below freezing points. However, in the Jammu region voters could be seen casting their votes.
The polling is expected to pick up as the day progress in the valley, where separatists had called for a general strike in poll-bound areas today.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K Shaleen Kabra said polling for Phase-VI of Panchayat Polls-2018 will be held today at 3174 polling stations including 410 in Kashmir division and 2764 in Jammu division.
The timing for polling is from 0800 hrs to 1400 hrs, he said adding counting of votes will start after the polling is over.
He said 771 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive including 410 in Kashmir division and 361 in Jammu division.
He said 7,156 candidates in the fray for 406 Sarpanch and 2277 Panch seats in Phase-VI while 111 Sarpanchs and 1048 Panchs have been elected unopposed in this Phase.
In the areas going to polls in Phase-VI, electorate of 5,97,396 electors will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies and 4,57,581 for Panch constituencies, where photo Voter Slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling station.
Mr Kabra said in Phase-V which went to polls on November 29, the State witnessed a polling percentage of 71.1 per cent including 33.7 per cent in Kashmir division and 85.2 per cent in Jammu division.
In Poonch district, he said, repoll for Sarpanch seat in Sanai Panch Halqa of block Surankote witnessed a turnout of 79.78 per cent and deferred polling in Panchayat Halqa Nonabandi witnessed a turnout of 92.23%.
He said in Phase-IV, the state witnessed a polling percentage of 71.3 per cent, including 82.4 per cent polling was witnessed in Jammu division and 32.3 per cent in Kashmir division. 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.
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.
Similarly, in the Phase-I of Panchayat Polls held on 17 November 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 results have been announced for all these Phases by the respective Returning Officers. (UNI)