In a first since it lost its special status, Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday witnessed its first phase of polling in over a year. The District Development Council (DDC) election booths opened early in the morning, at 7:00 am.
A total of 43 constituencies will be participating in polling today - 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu. There are 280 DDC seats in the region - 140 each in the Jammu and Kashmir.
Mask-clad voters of various age groups were seen getting their temperatures checked in the pictures that have emerged on social media. Take a look.
Centurions voting with great enthusiasm in DDC polling in Kashmir's Kupwara district. Turnout was 22.12% across J&K at 11.00 a.m. The first universal suffrage after abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A in August 2019. pic.twitter.com/YpfH9LIgoG— Ahmed Ali Fayyaz (@ahmedalifayyaz) November 28, 2020
All set for #DDCElections in J&K ....First Election after Abrogation of Article 370....Voting in 8 Phases for 280 Constituencies ...Heavy Deployment of Security ....#Covid Guideline Put in Place....@NewsNationTV @1947democracy pic.twitter.com/qk5va4Z7V3— Shahnawaz Khan ( News Nation） (@nnshahnawaz) November 28, 2020
Voting for DDC polls in progress at Khansahib, Budgam, J&K pic.twitter.com/jexcViQMrI— Bharti Jain (@bhartijainTOI) November 28, 2020
J&K: polling in first elections since being reorganised as a union territory and abrogated of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution with the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls begins. Voting being held on 43 constituencies: 25 in Kashmir & 18 in Jammu. pic.twitter.com/jcNpPEngdd— Ieshan Wani (@Ieshan_W) November 28, 2020
Reporter’s Diary: In Udhampur’s Basantgarh constituency in Jammu province — one of the remotest areas — voters queue up for the DDC polls — the first major political activity here since thabrogation of art 370 on Aug5,2019. pic.twitter.com/AnR1WxrpbT— Rohan Dua (@rohanduaTOI) November 28, 2020
Up to 2,644 polling stations have been established across Jammu and Kashmir amid heavy security deployment and COVID-19-preventing measures put in order. The elections will conclude after eight phases.
The area has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, with two wars fought over Kashmir, since India gained independence from British rule in 1947.