FARID AHMED ZARGAR
DODA, OCT 10: Heavy voter turnout for the seven civic bodies of erstwhile Doda District today marked the culmination of first stage of the ULB elections the results of which will be declared on October 20 after counting of votes. Groups of voters were seen lounging around the polling booths at almost all the polling stations in the three districts. The voting picked up in the starting hours. Till noon over 60% voters had exercised their right to vote.
For 13 wards of Kishtwar MC 72.77% voting was recorded till the closing hour at 4 p.m. Against the total number of 9125, 6641 including 3332 exercised their right to vote. The number of male voters who cast their votes in Kishtwar is slightly less than female voters. Ward No 11 of MC Kishtwar saw as high as 84.45% turnout of voters while ward No. 7 witnessed the lowest voter turnout at 61.79. 95 year old woman Zubaida was the oldest voter who visited the polling booth to cast her vote.
MC Doda has a total of 5897 voters to elect 17 ward members. 4481 voters including 2168 women voters cast their votes at their respective polling booths thus taking the percentage to 76%
Bhaderwah MC in Doda district recorded 68.78% voting. Out of the total 6852 voters, 4713 turned up for voting for 13 wards of the civic body. Surprisingly enough, the voting percentage for Bhaderwah MC is lowest among all the seven MCs of Chenab region in spite of the fact that residents of this picturesque town are politically much aware and educated.
In Doda district’s Thathri MC highest percentage of voters 83.91 reached the seven polling booths to cast their votes. Thathri town area voters are electing the MC for the first time as this MC came into being in the year 2011. The aggregate voter turnout in Doda district stood comes to 72.77%. Ramban district MCs recorded as high as 79.5% voting with Ramban MC at 83%, Batote MC at 81% and Banihal at comparatively low percentage of 69. Polling in ward No. 2 of Ramban MC had to be cancelled as a BJP candidate, Azaad Singh Raaju died inside the premises of polling booth just before casting his vote. Ramban MC’s ward Nos 5 and 4 recorded 98% and90% voting respectively. The percentage of voting for Banihal MC slid owing to the fact that three members were earlier elected unopposed leaving voting option for voters of four wards only.
Batote MC in Ramban district with 83% voting witnessed the turning up of two centurions Padam Nabh Sharma 104 and S. Gohar Singh 100 supported by their sons for casting their votes.
In all the three MCs of Ramban district as many as 5628 including 2735 women stand registered as eligible voters out of which an aggregate percentage of 79.5 cast their votes in today’s voting.
The DEO’s of the three districts had made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the polls. All the DEOs have thanked the Police, CRPF, SSB for ensuring security on the polling eve. They have also expressed their thanks to the voters for participating wholeheartedly in the democratic exercise to strengthen the basic institution of Local Bodies.
FARID AHMED ZARGAR