Jammu: The state of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a record turnout in the third phase of panchayat polls on Thursday. People came out in large number to cast their franchise and the state recorded 79 percent turnout. The polling process remained peaceful amid tight security.

According to reports, the villagers elected 246 sarpanch and 1868 panch in Thursday’s panchayat elections. The polling process lasted till 2 pm and the result came out by evening for 10 blocks of eight districts.

The poll percentage was 80 percent in Jammu’s Satwari block; 82 percent in Samba’s Purmandal block; 80 percent in Ghagwal; 72 percent in Udhampur’s Ramnagar block; 78 percent in Dudu Basantgarh; 86.50 percent in Sogam block; Kupwada districts of Kashmir division; 86 percent in Baramula’s Bonyar block; 75 percent in Gandarbal’s Gandarbal block; 82 percent in Badgam’s Chadhura block and 70 percent in Kulgam’s Kulgam block. 

Chief Electoral Officer BR Sharma said, “All necessary steps were taken for the security and fairness of the polls.”
The voters sealed the fate of 22 sarpanch and 170 panch in Jammu district’s Satwari block; 15 sarpanch and 108 panch in Samba district’s Purmandal block; 17 sarpanch and 122 panch in Ghagwal; 20 sarpanch and 156 panch in Basantgarh; 24 sarpanch and 172 panch in Ramnagar. 27 sarpanch and 225 panch in Baramula’s Sogam block; 40 sarpanch and 290 sarpanch in Badgam’s Chadhura block; 28 sarpanch and 245 panch in Bonyar and 19 sarpanch, 155 panch in Gandarbal block.
In the first two phase of election the polling percentage was 80 percent. The panchayat elections are slated to take place in 16 phases.