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Brisk voting in third phase of J&K, Jharkhand polls

Polling ended peacefully in the state in 16 assembly constituencies spread over three districts of Baramulla , Badgam and Pulwama.

“Jammu and Kashmir has registered 58 per cent polling in the third phase of the polls which was conducted peacefully. There have been no reports of untoward incidents. The voter turnout in today’s phase has continued with the same upward trend which we all saw in the first and second phase,” Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi told the media. He said during the last assembly polls in 2008 voting percentage was 52.13 per cent.

Despite poll boycott calls by separatist groups and recent militant violence across Kashmir Valley which left 21 persons killed on Friday, voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

Charar-e-Sharief assembly segment in Badgam district recorded maximum 82.14 per cent polling followed by 79 per cent in Uri Assembly segment of Baramulla constituency. Beerwah Assembly segment recorded 74.14 per cent polling. Seven Assembly segments of District Baramulla recorded overall percentage of about 58 per cent polling while five assembly segments of Badgam district recorded overall 73 per cent percentage . Four Assembly constituencies of Pulwama district recorded overall 42.45 per cent polling.

In Jharkhand, nearly 61 percent votes of little more than 50 lakhs voters were cast in the third phase for 289 candidates. Voting was held peacefully in all the 17 Assembly seats and barring a minor skirmish with Naxals in Giridih in early hours on Tuesday, in which Naxal fled after a brief encounter, no untoward incidence in connection with poll was reported. Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said, “The polling in Jharkhand has also passed off peacefully.”

Of the polling stations, 271 were identified as critical. During this phase, all efforts were made to ensure free and fair polls. The third phase saw 61 percent of voters exercise their rights, while the overall cumulative figure for the state is 63.1 percent.”

The five-phase assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, which started on November 25, have seen three of its phases completed. The fourth phase is scheduled to be held on December 14. The counting of the votes will take place on December 23.

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