Deserted booths, moderate to brisk polling in some places in Srinagar

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/19/2019 10:46:46 AM

SRINAGAR, Apr 18: Deserted polling booths in most areas, and moderate to brisk polling at some places marked the polling in prestigious Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency today. Over all polling in the constituency was about 14 percent.
However, polling percentage according to official figures was more this time than the bye-elections in the constituency in 2017, which had recorded a poll percentage of 7.2.
This time, Budgam district recorded high poll percentage, followed by Ganderbal and Srinagar. The constituency went to polls amid an election boycott and shutdown call by separatists and elaborate security arrangements for “free, fair and peaceful polling.”
The impact of the poll boycott was immense particularly in old city of Srinagar where a number of polling booths recorded zero poll percentage, while in dozens of polling stations the number of voters could not reach the double figure mark. The impact of boycott was very much visible in the polling stations for the areas including Nowhatta, Rainawari, Khanyar, Maisuma, Safakadal, Rajourikadal, Maharajgung, Nowabazar, Fatehkadal, Bohrikadal, Sarafkadal, Kawadara and Sekidafar.
A group of youth could be seen at a distance from a polling booth at Khanyar. “Hardly anybody votes here. What purpose has voting served in the past and what will it serve now? We were suffering then and we are suffering now,” said a youth who wished not to be named.
However, long queues of voters were seen in a number of areas of Budgam and Kangan. The voters enthusiastically waited for their turn to cast the votes at the polling booths of Dardwooder and Wangeth. “We are voting for preserving Article 370 and Article 35 A as those are in danger now,” said a voter Mohammad Khalil. He said he has never missed a vote in previous elections.” Earlier, the polls were for other issues like development but now our own identity is in danger,” he said.
Voters also turned out in good number at Durbal Bemina-A of Budgam assembly Segment, people. Of total 846 votes, 738 votes, including 340 male and 398 female votes, were polled in the Durbal Bemina. Fakir Gujri in Srinagar presented a similar picture.
Long queues of voters could be seen in Budgam. “We have never boycotted the polls. What purpose does the boycott serve? Wrong people get elected and rule us,” said Ghulam Ali, a local resident.
In Srinagar city, the polling stations wore a deserted look. Only nine votes were polled out of 4000 votes till 1 PM at Bazar Batamaloo polling booth. Voters turned up in good number in some pockets of Chadoora.
Hardly any enthusiasm was visible at Hyderpora, Rawalpora, Baghat, Barzulla and Solina localities. Only 30 out of 2891 votes were cast at a polling station at a polling station in Hyderpora, till 12 noon.
Srinagar-Budgam went to polls in second phase of Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, Baramulla-Kupwara went to polls in first phase on April 11 and recorded 34. 61 poll percentage.



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