Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Amid stray clashes, 10.32% voting in Anantnag in phase 2Updated: Apr 30, 2019 10:10 IST
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
A security personnel helps an elderly Kashmiri voter after he voted during the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections at Damhal Hanjipora, Kulgam district, Jammu and Kashmir, on April 29, 2019.(AFP)
The second leg of three-phased polling for Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency witnessed around 10.32 % polling on Monday, amid stray incidents of stone pelting.
Officials said that 11 incidents of stone pelting were reported from different parts of Kulgam district, which went to polls on Monday.
“The election process ended peacefully despite some stray incidents of violence in which miscreants tried to disrupt the poll process,” poll officials said. As many as 10 people were injured in clashes with the security forces , health officials said.
High security arrangements were made for smooth and secure polling in the Kulgam district that has witnessed several militancy-related killings and incidents in the past two years.
Voting began at 7am in 433 polling stations and a total of 3.45 lakh electors were eligible to vote in the second leg of the poll process.
Poll officials said 1.1% polling was recorded in Homeshalibug assembly constituency, 1.7% polling in Kulgam, 16.6% in Devsar and 20.5% in Noorabad.
The voting took place amid a shutdown call extended by separatists Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) for Kulgam district.
As a precaution, mobile internet services were suspended in areas where voting took place. Train services between Baramulla and Banihal were also cancelled. More than 20, 000 security force personnel were deployed to secure polling stations that were declared hypersensitive. Army was also involved in area domination and patrolling of sensitive localities. This is the first time when a three phase polling is being held for a single Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir. On April 23, in the first phase of polling in Anantnag district 13.8% voting was recorded.
In the two phases held so far, Homsgalibug assembly segment recorded the lowest 1.1% polling while Noorabad assembly segment witnessed the highest 20.5% polling. In first phase, highest polling was recorded in Pahalgam assembly segment with 20.37% while Bijbhera had witnessed lowest voter turnout of 2.04%.
Over 1,700 Kashmiri Pandits vote outside Valley
In a striking contrast to low voter turnout in Anantnag, out of 2,779 Kashmiri Pandit voters, 1,784 exercised their right to franchise at various polling booths set up in Jammu, Udhampur and New Delhi on Monday recording around 64% polling.
Returning officer for the Kashmiri migrants, Pankaj Anand, said that out of the 1,784 voters who exercised their franchise 939 were males and 845 females.
In Udhampur, out of 89 registered migrant voters, 32 cast their votes. There were reports of some Kashmiri Pandit voters not finding their names in electoral rolls despite having filled the M Forms. In the third phase, Pulwama and Shopian districts will vote on May 6. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Anantnag constituency had witnessed 28.9 % polling when Peoples Democratic Party wrested the seat from National Conference.
The high-profile elections are crucial for the political future of Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP.
Since the formation of the party in 1999, four districts of south Kashmir became the party’s bastion with its candidates winning 12 seats in 2008 and 11 in 2014 assembly election.
However, fighting for its survival, the party has pinned all its hopes on Mehbooba’s victory, which could give a boost to the otherwise demoralised cadres of the PDP.
First Published: Apr 30, 2019 10:10 IST