In a summarized report published by the Chief Electoral Officer of J&K state regarding the Urban Local Body (ULB) elections conducted recently in state in four phases, election commission reports total polling of 35.1% in entire state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the first phase of polling Jammu division recorded 65%, Kashmir division 18.6%, Ladakh region 62.1% and Kashmir Valley 8.2% with overall polling at 56.7%.
In the second phase of polling Jammu division recorded 78.6%, Kashmir valley 3.4%, with overall polling at 31.3%.
In the third phase of polling Jammu division recorded 81.4%, Kashmir valley 3.5%, with overall polling at 16.4%.
The fourth phase of polling was limited to Kashmir valley and it recorded 4.2% polling.
The just-concluded urban local body polls in Kashmir recorded a poor voter turnout in valley but Jammu division and Ladakh region saw unprecedented polling in ULB elections
According to data compiled by the election department of Jammu and Kashmir, out of 598 wards spanning across 40 municipal bodies in 10 districts of the valley, polling was held only in 186 wards.
The government had made elaborate security arrangements to secure polling staff and polling stations but kept the identity of candidates a secret for security reasons.
Nearly thirty per cent of wards in these 40 urban local bodies across Kashmir valley will remain unrepresented.
In these polls, six municipal bodies had two or less contesting candidates in total – two of them zero.
Stringent security arrangements were made for the smooth conduct of the polls, while candidates at many places were taken to secure locations – which meant no visible campaign for the polls in the valley.
The election to Urban Local Bodies was conducted under the threat of boycott call by separatists and militant organizations and the boycott call by main stream political parties of state NC and PDP including CPI (M) also led to such abysmally low turnout of votes in valley.
Meanwhile, State BJP President, Ravinder Raina in a press conference held today in Jammu accused the main stream political parties of state for trying to derail the democratic process.