PULWAMA: South Kashmir’s Pulwama panchayat block recorded 0.58 percent polling in the fifth phase of panchayat elections held on Tuesday amid heavy deployment of government forces. Elections were also scheduled in the district’s Aripal block on Tuesday but no voting was held for any seat, as either there was no candidate or a single candidate had already been declared winner unopposed.
Only 13 voters cast their votes at Chatterpora, which is a Panch seat, in Pulwama block. This was the lowest polling percentage recorded in the Panchayat polls so far.
The Chatterpora Panch constituency had 249 registered voters. The contest for the Panch seat was between a migrant Pandit, Amit Koul, and a local woman, Mehmooda.
Amit Koul emerged as the winner defeating his local rival by five votes, securing for himself a total of nine votes.
A total of nine candidates had filed nominations in Pulwama block, among whom four were declared winners as Sarpanch and three as Panch unopposed.
No Panchayat election was held in Aripal block in Tral area, officials said.
An election official said that seven Independent candidates for Sarpanch seats and five for Panch seats had already been declared winners unopposed in Aripal block. Certificates of winning the election had already been issued to them, the official informed.
Local sources said that no untoward incident was reported during the polling in Pulwama block.
The government had declared a holiday in areas going to polls on Tuesday.
The National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the CPI(M) had boycotted the panchayat polls over the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Indian Constitution in the Supreme Court.
At least a dozen panchayat ghars have been damaged or set on fire in Kashmir since the announcement of urban and rural body elections in September.