Anantnag: In the ongoing Lok Sabha polls for South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the voter turnout in hometown of former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti is constantly low and there are many villages in Bijbehara where no vote has been polled so far.
Bijbehara was considered the bastion of former PDP chief Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
The overall turnout up to 1 pm was 9.7 %. In Anantnag Assembly Segment, at least 1975 including 1269 males and 706 female voters exercised their franchise so far, taking the percentage to 2.28. In Kokernag Assembly Segment, at least 13330 including 7623 males and 5707 female voters exercised their franchise so far, taking the percentage to 14.2.
According to the officials, at least 9658 votes were polled in Shangus Assembly segment, which include 5720 male and 3938 female voters, taking the percentage to 10.92. In Bijbehera Assembly segment, at least 1312 including 886 male and 426 female voters exercised their franchise so far, taking the percentage to 1.41.
In Pahalgam Assembly segment, at least 13160 including 7999 male and 5161 female voters exercised their franchise so far, taking the percentage to 15.2. In Dooru Assembly segment, at least 8313 including 4875 male and 3438 female voters exercised their franchise so far, taking the percentage to 10.56.
The lowest voter turnout so far was in Bijbehara where so far just 1.4% votes have been polled while no vote was polled in Wopzan and Hugam villages of constituency. The district is spread over six assembly segments comprising Anantnag, Dooru, Kokernag, Shangus, Bijbehara and Pahalgam.
The Election Commission of India has curtailed the polling duration for Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency by two hours. Anantnag district has 529256 electors including 269603 males, 257540 females, 2102 service electors (2091 male and 11 female) and 11 transgender voters. For smooth polling, the ECI has setup 714 polling stations in the district.
There are 18 candidates in the fray for Anantnag constituency including PDP president and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti. The Congress has fielded its state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir while former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi is contesting on the National Conference ticket.
A 57-year-old lawyer Shams Khwaja, hailing from Gautam Budh Nagar of Uttar Pradesh is also in contest from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat which goes to polls district-wise in three phases on April 23, 29 and May 6 due to security concerns.
The other candidates in the fray are Sofi Yousuf of Bhartiya Janta Party, Nisar Ahmad Wani of Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party, Ch. Zaffar Ali of Jammu Kashmir People’s Conference, Sanjay Kumar Dhar of Manav Adhikar Party, Surinder Singh of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) and Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather, Ridwana Sanam, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, Zubair Masoodi, Ali Mohammad Wani, Gh Mohammad Wani, Kyasir Ahmed Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Khan and Mirza Sajad Hussain Beigh, all independents.(KNO)