Voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir highest in 35 years: Election Commission | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir highest in 35 years: Election Commission

May 27, 2024 06:19 PM IST

Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar said the active participation of voters in Jammu and Kashmir is a huge positive for Assembly elections to be held soon in the Union Territory

The five-year old Union territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir saw the highest voter turnout in the last 35 years at 58.46%, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a statement on Sunday.

An elderly man shows his inked finger after casting his vote at a polling booth during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections at Nandimarg area in Kulgam district of South Kashmir on Saturday. (PTI)
An elderly man shows his inked finger after casting his vote at a polling booth during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections at Nandimarg area in Kulgam district of South Kashmir on Saturday. (PTI)

Of the 8,726,281 eligible voters in the UT, 5,111,550 voted. In the press statement, chief election commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and election commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu thanked the polling personnel and security officials for the peaceful conduct of elections in the UT. The Union territory of Ladakh saw a voter turnout of 71.82%.

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“This achievement sits on a credible weave of 25% increase in number of contesting candidates since 2019, C-vigil complaints showing enhanced citizen involvement and Suvidha Portal showing 2,455 requests for rallies etc., reflecting the steady retaking of the election & campaign space away from hesitation and to fuller participation. Compared this outcome of the layered depth of electoral mobilization and participation, as reminiscent of the fame and deft of the legendary Kashmiri artisanal weave. This active participation is a huge positive for Assembly elections to be held soon so that the democratic process continues to thrive in the Union Territory,” Kumar was quoted in the ECI’s press statement.

It is not possible to compare voter turnout by each of the five parliamentary constituencies --- Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag Rajouri, Udhampur and Jammu --- across years since the borders were redrawn through the delimitation exercise that ended in May 2022, something the ECI also acknowledged in its press release.

The voter turnout in the three constituencies in the Valley --- Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri --- was 38.49%, 59.1% and 54.84%, respectively, which, as per the EC, was the highest in the last three decades. The other two constituencies, Udhampur and Jammu, recorded 68.27% and 72.22%, respectively.

Anantnag-Rajouri went to polls in the sixth phase on May 25, which is why the EC has not yet provided the absolute number of votes cast for the constituency. When HT checked the Voter Turnout App at 5.15pm on May 27, it showed a voter turnout of 55.40% for Anantnag-Rajouri.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi quote tweeted a tweet by EC on Monday and wrote, “A very special congratulations to my sisters and brothers of Anantnag-Rajouri for the record turnout in the Lok Sabha polls. Their enthusiastic participation is a vibrant testament to their democratic spirit.”

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