Around 75.3% of registered voters exercised their franchise in the seventh phase of the panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, ANI reported. The polling took place between 8 am and 2 pm. Two phases of polling remain to be held.

The highest turnout of 86.7% was recorded in Reasi district of Jammu region. The lowest, 13.1%, was recorded in Budgam district of Kashmir region. Overall, 84.8% of the electorate in Jammu division cast their votes, while the figure for the Kashmir division was just 30.3%.

Voting took place at 2,714 stations, of which 576 were in the Kashmir division and 2,138 in Jammu division. State Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said 892 polling stations were categorised as hypersensitive, including 428 in Kashmir and 464 in Jammu, Greater Kashmir reported.

Kabra said 5,575 candidates were in contention for 341 sarpanch and 1,798 panch seats, while 85 sarpanches and 912 panches have been elected unopposed.

“In areas going to polls in phase seven, the electorate of 4,75,865 will be voting for sarpanch constituencies and 3,45,880 for panch constituencies,” Kabra said. “Photo voter slips have been distributed among the voters to inform them of their polling stations.”

The first phase on November 17 saw a 74.1% voter turnout, including 64.5% in Kashmir division and 79.4% in Jammu. In the second phase three days later, 71.1% of voters exercised their franchise, with 80.4% polling recorded in Jammu and 52.2% in Kashmir.

The state recorded a turnout of 75.2% in the third phase on November 24, including 55.7% in Kashmir and 83% in Jammu. In the fourth phase held on November 27, 71.3% of the electorate turned out to vote, including 82.4% in Jammu division and 32.3% in Kashmir division.

An overall turnout of 71.1% was registered in the fifth phase on November 29, with Kashmir division recording over 33.7% polling and more than 85.2% turnout in Jammu. In the sixth phase on December 1, 76.9% voters exercised their franchise, with 84.6% polling recorded in the Jammu and 17.3% in Kashmir.

The nine-phased elections began on November 17 and will conclude on December 11.