Tight security, low enthusiasm in Srinagar

MAJID NABI. Dated: 10/9/2018 12:47:09 AM

SRINAGAR, Oct 8: Notwithstanding heightened security arrangements made by the authorities in Srinagar, the first phase of Urban Local Body (ULB) elections witnessed extremely low turnout of voters in summer capital.
Most of the areas wherein polling for first phase was conducted amid tight security, witnessed low turnout of voters as the people in poll bound areas preferred to stay indoors in view of the separatist group’s election boycott call.
Interestingly, the voters who exercised their right to franchise were unaware of the candidates contesting elections while most of them did not know as to where polling booths were put up in place by the authorities.
Not brisk but the highest turnout was recorded in Hamdania Colony, Bemina area on the outskirts of Srinagar city. However, despite tough security arrangements, the electors could not cross the double-digit percentage as was boasted by the government.
Other places including Durpora in Srinagar also recorded low turnout of voters with only 8 percent votes polled till 4pm in the evening, In Bagh-e-Mehtab electors turn out remained extremely negligible compared to Hamdania Colony.
“I cast my vote early morning and returned home immediately, I know the situation in Kashmir is grim but my vote goes to development of my area as Municipal election is all about Bijli, Pani and Sadak. Hence, ignoring the issues we confront on daily basis is illogical,’’ said a voter at Hamdania Colony Bemina.
He, however, said the electoral turn out remained negligible as majority of the people stayed indoors fearing repercussions.
“It was really difficult to reach to the polling station. Given some violent incidents in Kashmir in the recent past, people were hesitant to take decision whether to participate in electoral process or not,” he added.
It may in place to mention that two major political parties of the state PDP and NC announced boycott for ULB and Panchayat elections against New Delhi’s alleged reluctance of New Delhi to protect Article 35(A) which provides special status to the state under Article 370 of Indian constitution.
As soon as the two political giants announced their boycott, other parties including BJP and Congress accused PDP and NC of fielding proxy candidates.



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