Srinagar | Jagran News Desk: The first phase of polling for the eight-phase district development council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir ended on Saturday with a turnout of 51.76 per cent, as per the data available at the official website of Election Commission (EC).

According to the Election Commission, the maximum voter turnout was recorded at Reasi (74.62 per cent). Meanwhile, the lowest turnout was recorded at Pulwama (6.7 per cent).

The Jammu and Kashmir DDC elections are the first major polls that are being conducted across the Valley since the Centre revoked Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories (UTs) -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Earlier, state Election Commission (SEC) K K Sharma had informed that the DDC polls along with panchayat bypolls will be held in the newly form UT from November 28 to December 19 in eight phases.

Speaking about the results, Sharma has informed that the fate of the candidates will be declared on December 22. He had also said that 1,475 candidates are in the fray for the first phase of the polls and a total of 2,644 polling stations have been set up and there are 7,03,620 electors for this phase.

'No exit polls before conclusion of DDC elections'

Meanwhile, the state EC on Saturday imposed restrictions on conduct of exit polls till the last phase of the DDC elections.

"In exercise of powers conferred under Section 36 of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, the Election Authority (State Election Commission) hereby prohibits the conduct of any exit poll and publishing or publicising/displaying the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner in the ongoing DDC elections, till the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in the last phase of these elections - 2:00 PM on December 19," it said in an order.

The eight-phase DDC election is being seen as a triangular contest between the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) -- an amalgam of several mainstream political parties, including the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which are seeking the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's special status revoked by the Centre last year -- and the BJP, and Apni Party floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma