69% polling in Udhampur: EO

JAMMU: Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, where fate of Congress leader and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has been sealed in election on Thursday, recorded over 69 per cent polling. This is about 24 per cent more than the polling percentage of last Parliamentary election.
Disclosing this at a press conference here, the Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula said 64.48 per cent votes were cast in Kishtwar, 68.41 per cent in Doda, 63.22 per cent in Ramban, 74.84 per cent in Reasi, 67.92 per cent in Udhampur, 70.43 per cent in Kathua districts, and figures of exact polling are being received from various other far flung areas of these districts which would add up the final poll percentage tally.
Narula said the polling was held in a peaceful atmosphere and so far no untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency.
However, he admitted poll boycott in some polling stations in Kathua and replacement of six EVMs, which had become faulty. There was boycott in two polling stations in Bani Assembly segment due to a local demand, apart from halt of polling for some time due to fault in some EVMs in Kishtwar.
“There was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the constituency,” DGP Jammu and Kashmir, Ashok Prasad told reporters in Udhampur. When asked about the protests from Special Police officers, the DGP said some SPOs had requested for voting in their respective areas and the issue was resolved.
Narula said that in order to ensure that the polling is done in various inaccessible areas of the hilly districts, 45 air sorties were done and 545 poll staff/personnel were airlifted. He further said that 1272 vehicles were also put in use for transportation of polling personnel and material.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that the constituency was spread over large geographical area covering six districts for which as many as 2051 polling station at 1798 locations were set up, which included 198 critical/hypersensitive ones.
In order to improve the voting experience of the voters 53 model polling stations were established with innovative facilities, Narula said, adding that web casting was done on 68 PS and 337 digital and 132 video cameras were deployed.
Narula said that 269 micro observers were also deployed and 2772 EVMs were used in the polling.
The CEO said 13 candidates were in the fray for the constituency which comprised 1468886 number of electors including 681206 female and 787680 male voters.