Srinagar/Ranchi, Dec 9: Polling for the third phase of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand is underway since morning on Tuesday.
Acccording to reports, the polling in Jammu and Kashmir’s 16 constituencies spread over three districts of Baramulla, Badgam and Pulwama began at 8 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. Polling here is taking place for 16 seats spread over three districts of Baramulla,
As many as 138 candidates including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and three of his cabinet colleagues are in the fray for this phase of elections. All eyes are on Uri and Tral constituencies, which were hit by militant violence last week, ahead of the polls.
The first two phases of elections in the state saw a record turnout of over 70 percent, with voters ignoring boycott calls by separatists and militant outfits.
Concerned over the recent spurt in militant violence, in which 21 persons including 11 security force personnel and two civilians were killed, more than 420 companies of security forces and state police personnel have been deployed to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling in the 16 assembly constituencies.
However, in Jharkhand, polling is taking place for 17 seats amidst tight security.
The fate of 289 candidates including former Speaker C.P. Singh, former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, AJSU President Sudesh Mahto and Ministers Rajendra Prasad Singh, Anapurna Devi and J.P. Patel would be sealed in the ballot boxes today. While polling for 14 seats will end 3 p.m., the voting for Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke seats will continue till 5 p.m.
All sensitive booths have been handed over to Central Para Military Forces, and four helicopters are in standby position to meet any eventuality.
(With Agency Inputs)