Jammu: Ignoring the threat of militants, people in large numbers came out to exercise their franchise in the second phase of Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The eight blocks of eight districts which voted for 275 sarpanchs and 2031 panchs, recorded 82.10 percent voting.

While Vijaypur block in Sambha district recorded 84 percent voting, RS Pura in Jammu district and Channaini block of Udhampur district registered 83.4 percent and 76.95 percent voting respectively.

Despite a bad weather, people in large numbers went out to vote in the Kashmir division. At Laar block in Gandharbal district 85.46 percent people cast their votes. Bargaam’s Nagam area, Kupwara’s Vabura area, Barahahmullah’s Uri region, Kulgaam’s Pohlu region recorded 77, 85, 86.95 and 81.48 percent voting respectively.

In Vijaypur block of the Samba district of Jammu division 35 sarpanch and 254 panch were elected, while Aaraspurura of Jammu district, Channaini block of Udhampur district, Barahahmullah’s Uri region, Kulgaam’s Pohlu region chose 58, 48, 33, 17 Sarpanchs and 424, 390, 246 and 123 panchs respectively.

People of Gandharbal decided the fate of 21 sarpanchs and 145 Panchs. Among 79 candidates contesting for sarpanch ward, there was only one woman candidate and among 291 candidates contesting for panch, there were only 91 women candidates.

While there were only two women candidate among 69 contestants fighting for 25 seats of sarpanch in Kupwara block, there were 107 female candidates among 327 contestants fighting for a 200-member panch board. There was no place for a woman candidate in the run of candidates contesting for 38 sarpanch posts in Nagamarea of Budgam area. As many as 164 woman candidates found their place among 520 candidates in a 250 panch board.

State Chief Electoral Officer BR Sharma said that voting in all eight districts concluded peacefully. “Even after militants killed a woman panch, the enthusiasm among people for voting was remarkable,” he added.

(JPN/ Bureau)