An estimated 71.3 per cent of voters exercised their franchise Tuesday in the fourth phase of panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir which concluded peacefully amid tight security arrangements, state chief electoral officer Shaleen Kabra said.
While an overwhelming 82.4 per cent polling was recorded in Jammu division, 32.3 per cent was registered in Kashmir division, he said.
Among districts, Mr Kabra said Jammu recorded the highest poll percentage with 85.2 per cent, and the lowest was recorded at Pulwama district of south Kashmir with 0.6 per cent.
In Kashmir division, the northern Baramulla district topped the voter turnout with 62.4 per cent followed by nearby Kupwara district at 56.1 per cent, Budgam (46.3%), Bandipora (24.4%), Kulgam (14.5%) and Anantnag (6.2%), he said.
In Jammu division, Mr Kabra said Doda recorded the highest voter turnout with 84.6 per cent, followed by Poonch (82.5%), Kishtwar (82.3%), Rajouri (81.8%), Ramban (81.1%), Kathua (80.7%) and Udhampur (78.9%).
In the first phase of the nine-phased panchayat polls held on November 17, an estimated 74.1 per cent of the electorate registered their choice across the state, including 64.5 per cent in Kashmir division and 79.4 per cent in Jammu division.
In the second phase on November 20, overall 71.1 per cent polling was registered across the state with an overwhelming 80.4 per cent polling in Jammu division and 52.2 per cent in Kashmir division.
In the third phase, the state witnessed 75.2 per cent voting, which included 55.7 per cent in Kashmir division and 83.0 per cent in Jammu division.
Voting for fifth phase will take place on November 29. On behalf of Governor Satya Pal Malik, State Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has complimented the civil and police administration for the smooth and fair conduct of polls amid challenging circumstances.
The polling for the fourth phase started at 8 am at 2,618 polling stations across the state, including 639 in Kashmir division and 1,979 in Jammu division amid tight security and concluded at 2 pm with an electorate of 4,72,160 for sarpanch constituencies and 3,32,502 for panch constituencies, Mr Kabra said.
He said 777 polling stations have been categorised as hypersensitive — 571 in Kashmir division and 206 in Jammu division.
A total of 5,470 candidates were in the fray for 339 sarpanch and 1,749 panch seats, while 99 sarpanchs and 969 panchs have been elected unopposed in this phase.