Suhail Punjabi /PTI
Jammu: Around 68 per cent electorate cast their vote in Thursday’s polling for Jammu-Poonch parliamentary constituency, officials said.
This is 18.29 per cent more than the polling percentage of last parliamentary election, said Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula while addressing a press conference here.
Giving break-up, Narula said 70 per cent votes were cast in Jammu district; 75 per cent in Samba district, while figures of polling are being received from Rajouri and Poonch districts which would add up the final poll percentage tally subsequently.
The Chief Electoral Officer said 10, 000 personnel were detailed for election duty and 800 vehicles were used to ferry them and poll material. He said the Election Commission had deployed five Observers including three General Observers, one Expenditure Observer and one Police and Security Observer. Besides, he said the Commission had deployed 201 Micro Observers and webcasting of 60 booths was also done.
Narula said the Commission had set up 2274 polling booths at 1582 locations out of which 68 were declared as critical. He said 2274 electronic machines were used for the purpose. He said video recordings were also done to ensure free and fair polls.
The CEO said 19 candidates were in the fray for the constituency which comprised 1848553 electors including 871212 female and 977328 male voters.
Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad cast his vote at DPS School polling station in Jammu city.
In Gursia polling station in Mendhar teshil of Poonch district a clash broke out between polling agents of PDP and NC resulting in injury to one PDP worker, police said. They said that situation was brought to normal and polling re-started later.
In Cherian polling station of Rajouri district, there were clashes between polling agents resulting in injuries to three persons, they said.
In Poonch, people boycotted polling at four polling stations of Mandi, Baila, Arichul and Marnote in protest against the inclusion of area in Surankote assembly segment, while the area has been a part of the Poonch Assembly segment in the past.
Azad said, “There are tough measures taken by the Election Commission of India this time to ensure free and fair polling. Such strong measures were not seen in the past.”
Two time Congress MP Madan Lal Sharma is trying his luck and is pitted against 18 candidates including two strong contenders—Jugal Kishore of BJP and Yash Pal of PDP.