Jammu surpasses Kashmir region in Panchayat voters5 February 2011
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: For the first time, Jammu region has surpassed Kashmir in the number of voters for the Panchayat elections, which the Government proposed to start in March and April. Despite increase in number of voters, the number of Panchayats and constituencies of Sarpanches and Panches remained highest in Kashmir region. According to latest data published by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)in the form of final publication of rolls for the Panchayat elections, the total number of votes for the Panchayat elections has gone up to 50,78,268 (50.78 lakh) in the State. The data available with the Excelsior revealed that Jammu region comprising 10 districts has 25.59 lakh electorates (25,59,629) while Kashmir region with an equal number of 10 districts has been left with 23.84 lakh votes (23,84,370). Ladakh region with just two districts of Leh and Kargil has 1.34 lakh votes (1,34,269). Jammu has 1.75 lakh (1,75,259) more votes than the Kashmir region. Though the number of electorates in Jammu region was more than Kashmir by 1.34 lakhs, it was the Kashmir region which has been allotted more number of Panchayats besides the number of constituencies of Sarpanches and Panches. During last Panchayat elections held in the State in 2000, the number of electorates was below 40 lakh. However, despite increase in number of voters, the number of Panchayats and constituencies of Sarpanches was high in Kashmir at 1978 as against 1967 in Jammu region. Ladakh region has 186 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies. Similarly, the number of Panch constituencies in Kashmir region stood at 14,696 as against 13,750 in Jammu region. Ladakh region has 1264 Panch constituencies. The number of polling stations in all three regions was equal to the number of Panch constituencies in the State. However, Jammu has more number of 66 blocks while Kashmir region has 59 blocks and Ladakh 18. While the ratio of male and female voters in Ladakh region is almost equal, the number of male electorates was more than females in Jammu and Kashmir regions, according to the figures. Jammu district has eight number of Blocks, 298 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 2156 Panch constituencies and polling stations while Kathua has eight Blocks, 244 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 1644 Panch constituencies and polling stations, the figures revealed. Samba has four Blocks, 100 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 726 Panch segments and polling stations, Udhampur has seven Blocks, 204 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 1544 Panch constituencies and polling stations while Reasi has 4 Blocks, 147 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 1014 Panch constituencies and polling stations. According to the figures, Poonch and Rajouri districts have six and nine Blocks, 189 and 295 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 1540 and 2028 Panch constituencies and polling stations respectively. Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda districts have four, eight and eight number of Blocks, 124, 134 and 232 Panchayats and Sarpanch constituencies and 832, 838 and 1428 Panch constituencies and polling stations respectively. In Kashmir, the figures revealed, Kupwara district has 11 Blocks, 356 Panchayats and 2716 Panch constituencies while Baramulla has 12 Blocks, 365 Panchayats and 2906 Panch constituencies. Ganderbal has four Blocks, 103 Panchayats and 744 Panch segments while Srinagar has least number of one Block, 10 Panchayats and 79 Panch segments. Budgam district has eight Blocks, 283 Panchayats and 2155 Panch constituencies while Pulwama has five Blocks, 186 Panchayats and 1350 Panch constituencies. Anantnag and Kulgam have seven and five Blocks, 297 and 159 Panchayats and 2054 and 1060 Panch constituencies respectively. Shopian and Bandipora have one and five Blocks, 103 and 114 Panchayats and 763 and 869 Panch constituencies respectively. Kargil and Leh districts in Ladakh region have an equal number of nine Blocks respectively, 95 and 93 Panchayats and 659 and 605 Panch constituencies respectively. Jammu district had 5,66,723 electorates while Kathua has 3,27,733, Samba 1,76,231, Udhampur 2,79,075, Reasi 1,60,810, Poonch 2,47,119, Rajouri 3,16,527, Ramban 1,48.690, Kishtwar 2,13,375 and Doda 2,13,375. In Kashmir, Kupwara has 3,30,905 electorates, Baramulla 4,37,431, Ganderbal 1,21,522, Srinagar 15061, Budgam 3,35,604, Pulwama 2,63,398, Anantnag 4,01,968, Kulgam, 1,93,074, Shopian 1,34,318 and Bandipora 1,51,089. In Ladakh, Kargil has 71,765 electorates while Leh has 62,504 voters.