Polling for sixth phase in Kashmir begins

December 17th, 2008 - 11:32 am ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, Dec 17 (ANI): Polling for the sixth phase of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir began this morning.
Voting is being held in sixteen constituencies spread over five districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Anantnag and Kulgam. While 10 assembly seats fall the Kashmir valley, six constituencies are in Jammu Division.
More than 11.65 lakh voters, including over 5.62 lakh women, will exercise their franchise. 1,268 polling booths have been set up for the purpose.
The fate of 271 candidates, including 11 women, will be decided in this phase.
While former Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will contest from Anantnag Assembly constituency as a PDP candidate, Ghulam Nabi Azad will contest the polls from the Bhaderwah Assembly constituency on a Congress ticket.
Sayeed represented the Pahalgam assembly constituency in the previous assembly while Azad is contesting from Bhaderwah constituency, which he represented in the previous assembly also.
There are 22 other candidates in fray from Anantnag constituency, including NC Provincial President and former minister, Mirza Mehboob Beigh.
Similarly, there are 13 contestants in fray for Bhaderwah Assembly constituency, including ex-legislator and former BJP State President, Daya Krishan, besides former Advocate General of Jammu and Kashmir Mohammad Aslam Goni of the National Conference.
Among former ministers, Abdul Aziz Zargar of PDP and Sakina Itoo of NC, along with 13 others are contesting from Noorabad Assembly constituency of Kulgam district.
Abdul Gafar Sofi, a former minister in the Mufti Sayeed government, along with 12 others, is contesting from the Homeshalibug Assembly constituency of Kulgam district.
Former minister in the Farooq Abdullah government, Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad Shah and MLC, Mohammad Amin Bhat, a Congress candidate, along with 18 others are contesting from Devsar constituency.
Another former legislator, Mohammad Yousuf Rather of CPI (M) is in fray from Kulgam Assembly constituency. In all, 18 candidates are contesting from this constituency.
In Anantnag district, former Congress ministers, Peerzada Mohammad Syed and Ghulam Ahmad Mir are in the fray from Kokernag and Dooru Assembly constituencies. Former minister, Mohamamd Akbar Ganie is also contesting from Dooru constituency.
Likewise, former minister Abdul Rehman Bhat Veeri of PDP is in fray from Bijbehara constituency along with 11 other contestants. Rafi Ahmad Mir, MLC is contesting from Pahalgam Assembly constituency.
In Jammu division’’s Kishtwar district, former minister in the Ghulam Nabi Azad Government, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori is contesting from Inderwal constituency. In all, there are 18 contestants in fray in Inderwal constituency. Former legislator, Sajad Ahmed Kichloo, is again contesting on NC ticket from Kishtwar Assembly constituency, along with 12 other candidates.
In Doda district, former ministers, Abdul Majid Wani of the Congress and Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy of NC are in fray in Doda Assembly constituency, along with 18 others.
From Ramban Assembly constituency, former legislators Chaman Lal of NC and Bali Bhagat of BJP are contesting, along with 11 others while as former legislators, Moulvi Abdul Rashid and Farooq Ahmad Mir are contesting as independents from Banihal Assembly constituency. In all, there are 24 contestants in fray from Banihal constituency, which is the highest number of candidates in any of the 16 constituencies.
Two-hundred additional companies of security forces and nearly 100 companies of local police have been deployed in poll-bound areas.
The seventh phase of polls will be held on December 24.
Approximately 57 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the fifth phase on Saturday. Polling took place in eleven constituencies in the districts of Kathua, Shopian and Pulwama.
An estimated 55 per cent of the 14 lakh electorate exercised their franchise in the fourth phase of polling on December 7.
Despite the call by separatists for election boycott, 64 per cent participated in the first phase. At least 65 per cent voting was recorded during the second phase of polling. In the first four phases, the number of candidates showed a marked increase this time as compared to 2002. In the Kashmir division the number has gone up to more than double. The results will be declared on December 28. (ANI)

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