New Delhi: Nearly 100 per cent polling was recorded on Thursday in the maiden Block Development Council (BDC) elections held in Jammu and Kashmir, stated news agency PTI. Earlier in the day, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shalinder Kumar was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “98.3 per cent polling was recorded in J-K”.

Security was tightened in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday ahead of the BDC elections which began at 9 AM and ended by 1 PM on October 24. The elections took place even as major parties namely Congress, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party boycotted the first-ever electoral exercise citing the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370. Meanwhile, Jammu district electoral officer Sushma Chauhan informed that there were no reports of untoward incidents in Jammu.

The District Electoral Officer of J&K Sushma Chauhan noted that only 2,690 of the 2,703 eligible voters voted in the 20 blocks of Jammu and Kashmir. Only panch and sarpanch were eligible to vote in these elections. Soon after the final withdrawal of candidature for nominations, election officials stated that as many as 1,065 candidates would be contesting for the BDC polls across the 22 J&K districts. Meanwhile, 27 candidates were unanimously elected as the chairpersons for the various BDC elections of J&K.

Out of the 316 blocks in J&K, two blocks do not have elected panches or sarpanches while four others were for women. Thus, the elections were scheduled for only 310 blocks, stated the officials. Notably, officials had earlier informed that the polling will take place through secret ballot.