Kashmir civic polls: Voting starts on dull note

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Srinagar: The trend of low voter turnout continued in the ongoing civic polls in Kashmir continued Saturday as only 1.3 per cent of the 1.62 lakh electorate exercised their franchise in the first three hours of polling which began at 6.00 am.
The 20 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, where voting is underway, have witnessed only 0.8 per cent of the 1.53 lakh voters turn up at the polling stations, officials said.
In Anantnag district, only 100 of the 5,469 votes have been polled in the first three hours of polling, the officials said.

However, heavy polling is going on in Uri municipal committee of Baramulla district where 908 of the 3,552 voters have already cast their votes.

The poll percentage in the first three hours of polling was 25.6 per cent. There are 365 candidates in the fray for 96 wards of eight urban local bodies for the third phase comprising a total electorate of 1,93,990 electors.

The officials said massive security arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.

They said additional poll staff has been deployed at polling stations with large number of electors.

Municipal elections, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh, are being held in four phases. The last phase will take place on Tuesday.

A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1145 wards.

National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and CPI(M) have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.