Srinagar: Kashmir recorded above 64 percent turnout while in Jammu 79.5 percent voters cast their votes in the first phase of panchayat elections on Saturday.
The turnout in rural areas was significantly higher in Kashmir Valley unlike during the recent urban local bodies elections where just four percent of the electorate voted.
Hurriyat Conference who asked people to boycott the polls had called for a strike Saturday. National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party too had decided to stay away from the electoral exercise.
As per officials, total polling percentage in Kashmir division was recorded 64.5 percent as 1.05 lakh of 1.63 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the Valley, they said.
Giving details, they said Srinagar district recorded 21.8 per cent followed by 30.14 percent in Budgam, 70 per cent in Kupwara, 69.1 per cent in Baramulla, 56.2 per cent in Bandipora, 60 per cent in Leh and 77.7 per cent in Kargil.
The total polling percentage in Jammu division was 79.5 per cent as 2.35 lakh voters out of 2.95 lakh voted, they said.
In Jammu region, polling percent in Kishtwar was 74.1 per cent, Rajouri 78.9, Poonch 78.7, Udhampur 83.6, Doda 80.8, Kathua 80 and Ramban 78.2 per cent, they added.
The officials said the total number of electorate in these polling stations was 1,35,774 in Kashmir.
There will be eight more phases of panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
The first phase polling was held in 47 blocks, including 16 blocks in Kashmir, 21 in Jammu and 10 in Ladakh region.
The polls are being held after a delay of two years when the state is under the Governor’s rule. The counting of votes will be held on November 27.