Over 1,400 polling stations to have webcasting facilities

JAMMU: A total of 1,472 polling stations out of 2,637 will be equipped with webcasting facilities in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur parliamentary constituency which is going to polls in the first phase on April 19, officials said.

More than 16.23 lakh voters will decide the fate of 12 candidates, including Union Minister Jitendra Singh, in the fray from the constituency consisting of 18 assembly segments spanning five districts — Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Udhampur and Kathua.

The constituency, which was reshaped with three assembly constituencies of Reasi district carved out on the recommendations of the delimitation commission, had recorded 70.2 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Encompassing an expansive area of 16,707 square kilometres, the constituency boasts of a diverse electorate comprising 16,23,195 eligible voters. Among them are 8,45,283 male voters, 7,77,899 female voters and 13 third-gender voters, reflecting the inclusivity of the democratic process, they said.

To facilitate seamless voting, the official said, a total of 2,637 polling stations — 2,457 in rural areas and 180 in urban areas — have been set up across the constituency, including 701 in Kathua, 654 in Udhampur, 529 in Doda, 405 in Kishtwar and 348 in Ramban.

Moreover, 1,472 polling stations will be equipped with webcasting facilities to further enhance transparency in the democratic process, they said.

Kathua district, with six assembly segments of Bani, Billawar, Basohli, Jasrota, Kathua and Hiranagar, has the highest 5,03,227 registered voters, including 2,39,273 women and six third-gender electors. Udhampur, comprising four assembly segments — Udhampur West, Udhampur East, Chenani and Ramnagar — boasts of 4,19,854 electors which includes 2,19,890 male and 1,99,964 female electors, the officials said.

Doda, also with three assembly segments namely Bhaderwah, Doda and Doda West, contributes 3,05,093 voters to the electoral roll comprising 1,57,375 male, 1,47,711 female and seven third-gender electors, they said.

Ramban district, encompassing two assembly segments — Ramban and Banihal — has 2,19,124 registered electors, including 1,13,814 male and 1,05,310 female electors.

Kishtwar has three assembly segments — Inderwal, Kishtwar and Padder Nagseni — and a total of 1,75,897 voters, including 90,256 males and 85,641 females, they said.

The official highlighted that 23,637 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) have been included within the electoral roll, encompassing 14,362 males and 9,275 females.

Among the young voters, aged 18-19 years, 45,825 are males, 38,641 females and two transgenders, totalling 84,468 potential first-time voters, the officials said.

They said the constituency boasts of a considerable elderly population with 12,020 male voters and 13,612 female voters aged above 80 years, totalling 25,632 seasoned voters contributing to the electoral discourse.

In line with the commitment towards fair and transparent elections, the ECI has deployed 3,658 ballot units, 3,570 control units, and 3,636 VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the electoral process.

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