Voting for the sixth phase of the nine-phased panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir are underway on Saturday amidst stringent security arrangements, officials said.
According to the official report, voting to the 3,100 polling booths began as early as 8 am and will end at 2 pm in the afternoon.
The counting of votes will begin after the polling is over, it said.
At least of 771 stations, 410 in the Kashmir division and 361 in the Jammu division, have been categorised as hypersensitive, state Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said.
As many as 7,156 candidates were in the fray for 406 sarpanch and 2,277 panch seats in the sixth phase, while 111 sarpanches and 1,048 panches were elected unopposed, the official said.
A total of 5,97,396 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise for the sarpanch constituencies and 4,57,581 for the panch constituencies, the officials said.
According to Kabra, senior government officers have been appointed as General Observers to oversee the smooth, fair and orderly conduct of the panchayat polls. In addition, Micro Observers have been placed in polling stations, especially those considered hypersensitive.
In the fifth phase of polling on November 29, the state had witnessed a voting percentage of 71.1, wherein, in the fourth phase, the polling percentage was 71.
In the third phase, the state had recorded a polling percentage of 75.2, including 55.7 in the Kashmir division and 83 in the Jammu division.
The voting percentage was 71.1 in the second phase with an overwhelming 80.4 per cent polling in the Jammu division and 52.2 per cent in the Kashmir division.
Similarly, in the first phase of polling on November 17, the voting percentage was 74.1, including 64.5 in the Kashmir division and 79.4 in the Jammu division.
The results for the first five phases have been announced by the respective returning officers.
(With PTI inputs)