Polling begins briskly in Jammu and Kashmir

December 7th, 2008 - 10:18 am ICT by IANS  

Jammu/Srinagar, Dec 7 (IANS) Polling for the fourth phase of Jammu and Kashmir elections started off briskly Sunday morning in 18 constituencies as people braved freezing temperatures and queued up outside polling stations to cast their votes. As many as 1.4 million people are eligible to vote in a dozen constituencies in Kashmir Valley’s Baramulla and Badgam districts and six in the Jammu region’s Udhampur and Reasi districts went to polls. The elections for the state’s 87 seats is being held in seven phases.

People had started gathering in strength in all but one constituency in the Valley despite the inclement weather. Very few voters had turned up in the apple-rich Sopore constituency in Baramulla.

In the Jammu region, there was enthusiasm to vote just like in the previous three phases of polling. This phase will cover the Hindu majority pockets of Jammu district.

Contingents of paramilitary forces and local police were deployed in the Valley with a call for boycott of the polls by the separatists.

“Nobody will be allowed to interfere with the voters’ right to exercise their vote,” a police official told IANS.

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