Voting for the fourth phase of the Jammu and Kashmir panchayat elections is underway at over 2,600 polling stations in the state, officials said.Polling for the fourth of the nine-phased elections is being held at 2,618 polling stations, including 639 in the Kashmir division and 1,979 in the Jammu division, they said.The officials said polling started at 8 am and would end at 2 pm.
They said 777 polling stations 571 in the Kashmir division and 206 in the Jammu division — have been categorised as hypersensitive.Of the total, 5,470 candidates are in the fray for 339 sarpanch seats and 1,749 panch seats in this phase, the officials said.They said 99 sarpanchs and 969 panchs have been elected unopposed in the fourth phase.
In total 4,72,160 people have the right to exercise their franchise for sarpanch seats and 3,32,502 for panch seats, the officials said.In the first phase, held on November 17, 74.1 per cent polling was recorded across the state, including 64.5 per cent in the Kashmir division and 79.4 per cent in the Jammu division.
On November 20, the second phase was held. Overall 71.1 per cent polling was recorded in the state, with 80.4 per cent in the Jammu division and 52.2 per cent in the Kashmir division.In the third phase, the state recorded a 75.2 per cent polling. The Kashmir division recorded 55.7 per cent and the Jammu division 83.0 per cent.The officials said all arrangements, including those related to security, have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.