LS polls: Srinagar records voter turnout at 36.58 pc, highest since 1996


Srinagar; A voter turnout of more than 36 per cent took place in the redrawn Srinagar Lok Sabha seat without any untoward incident on Monday, the highest since 1996 when the constituency in Jammu and Kashmir recorded nearly 41 per cent polling.

The Srinagar constituency recorded 36.58 per cent voting till 8 pm, the Election Commission of India said.

This was the first general election in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370 and the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the EC said in a statement.

Voting took place in the districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, and Pulwama, and partly in Budgam and Shopian districts at around 2,135 polling stations across the Srinagar parliamentary constituency with live webcasting at all the polling stations.

Polling started at 7 am with long queues of enthusiastic voters waiting to cast their votes, the statement said.

Voters of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Pulwama, and Shopian showed up in record numbers to cast their votes in a show of faith and enthusiasm in the election process, it added.

According to the EC, the highest polling in this constituency in the last 34 years has been in 1996 when nearly 41 per cent voters used their franchise.

In 2019, 14.43 per cent votes polled whereas the figure in previous parliamentary elections stood at 25.86 per cent (2014), 25.55 (2009), 18.57 (2004), 11.93 (1999) and 30.06 per cent (1998), the statement said.

National Conference candidate Aga Ruhullah, PDP’s Wahid Para, JK Apni Party’s Ashraf Mir and DPAP’s Amit Bhat are among 24 candidates fighting from the Srinagar seat. In the 2019 general elections, only 12 candidates were in the fray from the seat.

The Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency was redrawn after the delimitation and parts of Budgam in central Kashmir were taken away from it, while Pulwama district and parts of Shopian district were added.

Polling and security personnel worked tirelessly to ensure that an atmosphere of calm, peace and festivities welcomed voters at the polling stations, the EC added.

More than 8,000 polling staff were on duty to cater to the over 17.47 lakh-strong electorate.

Command-and-Control centres have been working 24×7 in Srinagar as well as Jammu since March 16, the date of announcement of the general elections, to ensure free and fair elections, the EC said.

In order to ensure inclusive voting, polling stations managed by women, specially abled persons and youths were set up. There were 21 green and eco-friendly polling stations, it added.

The Commission has enabled Kashmiri migrant voters residing at various relief camps in Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur to also have the option of voting in person at designated special polling stations or using postal ballot.

As many as 21 Special Polling Stations were established at Jammu, one at Udhampur and four at Delhi.

Planned, consistent and targeted interventions to promote voter awareness as part of SVEEP activities has contributed to the noteworthy rise in voter turnout, the EC said.

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