LS polls: Srinagar records highest turnout in 30 yrs

In 1st major poll after Art 370, no fear factor in Valley poll stations.
LS polls: Srinagar records highest turnout in 30 yrs

SRINAGAR: In the first electoral exercise since Article 370 abrogation, the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat recorded 36% voting, which is the highest voter turnout since 1996 (when 40.94 % voting was recorded), and two-and-a-half times more than the 2019 polls when the turnout was a mere 14.43%.

Although 24 candidates are in the fray, the main contest is between NC’s Aga Ruhullah, PDP’s Wahid Parra and Apni Party’s Mohammad Ashraf Mir. The election authorities set up 2,135 polling stations across 18 assembly segments in five districts.

Chief electoral officer PK Pole said the Srinagar constituency recorded 36% polling and not even a single polling booth recorded a zero percent voting.

The polls in Srinagar sprang a surprise with people, including men and women, coming out to vote in the previously known no-go areas of south Kashmir, including the Tral area. It was for the first time in over three decades that people in the most sensitive areas of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, which was known as militancy and separatist hub, exercised their right to vote.

In many Tral areas, including Namchabal, Amlar, Tral Bala, Tral Payeen and other adjoining areas in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, where a near-zero voter turnout was witnessed during the previous polls, people came out to vote.

In a polling station at Tral Payeen, out of the total 820 votes, 108 were polled till 9.53 am. “This is for the first time in over three decades that people are coming out and voting. There is no intimidation and people are coming out on their own,” said a voter Abdur Rehman.

“We are voting for change and hope our vote will bring about change,” he said. In the Padgampora area of Pulwama, which used to be the hub of separatist politics,

people were waiting for their turn to cast their votes. “The abrogation of Article 370, rising unemployment and growing inflation are the issues that prompted us to come out and vote. We are voting to keep BJP away and for a better future,” said a young woman voter Kounsar Jan

Voters out

In area of Pulwama, which used to be the hub of separatist politics, people were waiting for their turn to cast their votes.

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