The PTI on Sunday took the lead over its opponents, the PML-N and PPP, in the first phase of the local government elections held in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) after a gap of three decades.
According to unofficial results, the PTI bagged six union council seats in Hattian Bala’s Jhelum Valley out of a total of 18.
The PML-N managed to grab three seats followed by the PPP with two.
Similarly, in Neelum Valley, the PTI took the lead, winning eight UC seats, as per unofficial results.
The PML-N grabbed three seats in Neelum Valley while the PPP managed to bag two.
Two independent candidates also remained successful in grabbing two seats there.
However, the PML-N was ahead in the race for the Muzaffarabad Municipal Corporation wards.
Of the unofficial results of 29 of the 36 wards of the Muzaffarabad Municipal Corporation, the PML-N managed to secure 12 of them. It was followed by the PTI and PPP, both bagging six wards each.
Independent candidates won five wards while the Muslim Conference could only secure one.
As per reports, exchange of fire between two parties at two polling stations left many injured, including a woman.
According to a tweet by the PTI’s official Twitter handle, it had secured 34 of the UC seats, followed by the PPP with 23, PML-N with nine, independent candidates with four and Muslim Conference with three.
Also read: First phase of LG polls conclude in AJK
A total of 2,716 candidates including 900 independent candidates were in the contest for 595 seats in Muzaffarabad, Neelum Valley and Hattian Bala districts in the first phase of the LG polls in AJK.
In the second phase, polling will be conducted in four districts of Poonch Division on December 3.
Polling in the first phase continued from 8am till 5pm in the evening without any interval.
Long queues of voters were witnessed at polling stations reflecting the interest of the residents in the elections.
According to the election commission, 695,049 voters, including 320,747 female ones, exercised their right to vote in the first phase of elections in three districts of Muzaffarabad division.
According to Muzaffarabad DIG Irfan Masood Kashfi, 4,500 police personnel were deployed at polling stations while quick response force was in place at every sector headed by DSP rank officers to reach in 15 minutes.
The army was also placed on standby during the polling to control untoward situation, the officer added.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Abdul Rasheed Sulehria along with senior member of the commission Raja Farooq Niaz also visited different polling stations in Muzaffarabad city and expressed satisfaction over the polling process.
AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan said this day would be remembered in the history of the region for a long time as devolution off power from the Centre to local bodies was going to take place there after a long pause of over three decades.
Talking to reporters, he added that the credit for holding the LG polls in AJK went to the PTI government that stuck to its principled stand that powers should be transferred to the lower level.
(With input from APP)