BDC polls witness massive turnout
Srinagar: Over 98 per cent out of 26,629 eligible panchs and sarpanchs voted in Block Development Councils (BDCs) elections in J&K amid boycott by mainstream political parties and unprecedented security arrangements to
prevent any militant attack and other violence.
An official spokesperson on Thursday said that 98.3 per cent votes were polled in the BDC elections, which concluded at 1300 hrs. “The counting of votes will commence from 1500 hrs and the results will be declared late in
the night,” he added.
“100 per cent votes were polled in Srinagar while 90.5 per cent polling was recorded in Anantnag, 97.6 per cent in Bandipora, 97.1 per cent in Baramulla, 94.9 per cent in Budgam, 95.1 per cent in Ganderbal, 93.9 per cent
Kulgam, 95.9 per cent in Kupwara, 86.2 per cent in Pulwama and 85.3 per cent in Shopian,” he said.
He said 99.2 per cent votes were polled in Doda, 99.4 per cent in Kathua, 99.5 per cent in Kishtwar, 99.3 per cent in Poonch, 99.5 per cent in Rajouri, 99.2 per cent in Ramban, 99.7 per cent in Reasi, 99.6 per cent in Samba
and 99.4 per cent in Udhampur.
All arrangements, including security measures, were made for peaceful, free and fair polling in 310 out of 316 BDCs on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir. As many as 26629, including 8313 women, elected panchs and sarpanchs were
eligible to vote in the BDC polls in the state.
Out of six BDC where no polling will be held, two were without elected panchs and sarpanchs while four were reserved for women candidates. There was, however, no woman candidate in these BDCs.
This was for the first time BDC election was held in the state.
The mainstream political parties, including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress have boycotted the BDC polls after their majority leaders were detained or put under house arrest on August 5,
leaving the field open for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to fight it out against independents.
Those arrested included three former Chief Ministers — NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son NC Vice President Omar Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti. Union Home minister Amit Shah has recently said that Dr
Abdullah, Omar and Mehbooba have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).
The Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (JKPC) alleged that polls were held on party lines to favour BJP. Panchayat and Sarpanch elections were held on non-party lines, Shafiq Mir, president of the JKPC said and
questioned why BDC polls were now held on party lines when leadership of entire opposition are under detention.
Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh had said that all arrangements have been made for smooth and peaceful polling. “Adequate security arrangements were made to foil any attempt by militants and other anti
national elements to disturb the polling,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of all districts had finalized all arrangements to conduct, free, fair and peaceful polling today.
BJP leaders addressed a number of meeting under unprecedented security arrangements in the valley. Recently BJP National General Secretary and Kashmir Incharge Ram Madhav addressed a youth rally, first after scrapping
special status of the state, at Tagore Hall here under heavy security.
Though the opposition alleged that BJP has paid money to candidates to contest as independents, the saffron party said Congress and other parties have put up proxy candidates in the election.
An official said 90 candidates are in fry from Baramulla, 26 in Bandipora, 28 in Ganderbal and 58 in Budgam. “As many as 11 candidates will try their luck in Pulwama, 18 in Kulgam and 55 in Anantnag,” he added.
He said in total 1065 candidates are in fry for BSC polls in Jammu and Kashmir after the final withdrawal of nomination papers. “Most of the 27 candidates, who have been elected unopposed as chairpersons, are from Kashmir,”
The official said of the 1065 candidates, 853 candidates are independent and 239 are from different political parties. “All the arrangements for the smooth conduct of the BDC polls have been finalized,” he added.