Voting picks up in Kashmir, long queues outside polling booths

Voting picks up in Kashmir, long queues outside polling booths - Sakshi Post

Srinagar: Defying the boycott call by separatists and the chilly weather, people turned up in numbers to exercise their franchise in the fourth phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir where over 24 per cent voters cast their vote till noon.

Voting across the four districts was by and large peaceful with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere so far.

"An estimated 24.58 per cent of over 14.73 electorate cast their ballot in the 18 constituencies spread over three districts of Kashmir including Srinagar and Samba district in Jammu region till noon" an official spokesman said.

He said Samba constituency recorded the highest turnout of 37.85 per cent in the first four hours, while Habbakadal constituency in Srinagar witnessed the lowest 10.58 per cent during the corresponding period.

Despite severe cold, long queues of voters were seen outside the polling stations to exercise their franchise at many polling stations.

The trends in voter turnout in eight constituencies of Srinagar city, which have witnessed low voter turnout in the past elections due to separatist boycott calls, pointed towards a higher poll percentage this time.

Sonawar constituency, where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is contesting, witnessed the highest 23.51 turnout in Srinagar followed by Khanyar and Hazratbal constituencies at over 16 per cent.

Amirakadal, Zadibal, Eidgah and Batamloo constituencies witnessed over 15.12 per cent, 14.73, 13.36 and 13.58 per cent turnout, respectively, till noon.

Anantnag constituency in south Kashmir, where PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is a candidate, saw 22.15 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in the first four hours.

Shangus constituency in Anantnag district was leading in the turnout in Kashmir with 36.19 per cent of electorate exercising their franchise till noon.

Shangus was followed by Dooru constituency at (35.71 per cent), Pahalgam (35.39), Kokernag (34.88), Bijbehara (32.25), Vijaypur (31.09), Shopian (25.39) and Wachi (22.64).

Stringent security arrangements have been put in place to ensure incident-free polling across the state, the officials said.

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