Nearly 65 per cent polling in Udhampur, 15 per cent in Srinagar

Nearly 65 per cent polling was recorded in Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, while the turnout was low in Srinagar seat with nearly 15 per cent voters exercising their franchise till 5 pm on Thursday in the second phase of general elections in Jammu and Kashmir, according to poll officials.

No major untoward incident was reported during polling which was being held amid tight security due to militant threats and a boycott call by separatists in Kashmir.

However, there was a protest by a group of displaced Kashmiri migrants in Jammu after some of the members found their names missing in the voters list at a special polling station.

Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency recorded 64.78 per cent polling, with Udhampur district registering the highest of 72.2 per cent till 5 pm, poll officials said.

Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency recorded nearly 15 per cent polling, with highest 21 per cent polling recorded in Shia dominated Budgam district till 5 pm, they said, adding polling has been peaceful so far.

Polling concludes at 6 pm.

In the 2014 election, Srinagar witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the country at 25.86 per cent whereas Udhampur witnessed 70.9 per cent polling.

Over 29.81 lakh people in the two seats are eligible to vote to decide the fate of 24 candidates, including former Chief Minister and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Union Minister Jitendra Singh who are contesting for Srinagar and Udhampur Parliamentary constituencies respectively.

For migrant voters of Srinagar constituency, 26 polling stations were set up with 21 in Jammu, one in Udhampur and four in New Delhi. Out of 4,700 eligible to vote, 2,100 voters exercised their franchise.

Kashmiri migrants demanded a probe into missing of names in the voters list at a special polling station here.

A group of people also staged protest for not setting up polling station at Talwara (Reasi) for over 600 migrant voters.

“No polling station was setup at Talwara migrant camp for voting. We have 673 votes here. DC Reasi first promised us polling station but later refused. We were told that buses will be given to us for ensuring voting at our places, but no vehicles were sent,” a migrant leader told reporters.

The protesters raised slogans against district authorities of Reasi and the Election Commission.

Voters in border district of Kathua and Udhampur turned up in large numbers at polling booths this morning to exercise their franchise, officials said.

The family members of senior RSS Leader Chanderkant Sharma, who was killed along with his PSO by terrorists in Kishtwar last Tuesday, cast their votes at Kishtwar after performing the post-death rituals on 10th day.

Surikant Sharma, elder brother of the deceased RSS leader, demanded that the killers be arrested and hanged to death.

Authorities Thursday order suspension of two poll officials including a presiding officer for dereliction of duty in Kishtwar.

A newly-married couple was seen in their wedding finery at a polling station in Udhampur town. The enthusiastic couple said youths should come out to vote.

There was a problem with EVM at a polling station in Ramban district but it was later rectified.

Raj Devi, 95, voted at a polling station in Chenani in Udhampur district.

Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in and around polling stations in all three districts — Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal — of the constituency, the officials said.

Separatists had called for a shutdown in the three districts against the Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, authorities snapped mobile internet services in these districts as a precautionary measure.

“The mobile internet service has been suspended as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” an official said. The BSNL’s broadband service was working, but its speed has been decreased.

In Srinagar, Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns Aga Moshin of the PDP, Irfan Ansari of the People’s Conference and Khalid Jehangir of the BJP.

In Udhampur, prominent contestants include four Rajputs: Union minister Jitendra Singh seeking reelection on a BJP ticket, Dogra dynasty scion Vikramaditya Singh fighting as a Congress candidate, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan founder Choudhary Lal Singh and National Panthers party chairman Harsh Dev Singh.

Udhampur parliamentary seat has 16, 85,779 electors and with 2,710 polling stations. Srinagar constituency has 12,95,304 registered voters and 1,716 polling stations.

[Online reports]
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