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J&K: Enthusiastic voters line up in Anantnag-Rajouri LS constituency as voting starts

25 May, 2024 08:10 IST|Sakshi Post

Anantnag, May 25 (IANS) Enthusiastic voters came out early Saturday morning to exercise their franchise in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency.

Voters were seen forming small queues since the morning as poll authorities said a large voter turnout is expected in the constituency.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, only a 9 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Anantnag while Rajouri and Poonch polled 72 per cent votes.

These statistics cannot be taken as the baseline to determine Saturday’s voter turnout in this constituency since after delimitation two districts of Jammu division, Poonch and Rajouri, were added to Valley’s Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency while Pulwama district was deleted from this constituency and was made a part of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam and parts of Shopian have been the worst militancy-affected districts in the Valley.

Extensive security arrangements with the deployment of large numbers of CAPFs and the local police have been made in the constituency to provide a safe, free and fearless environment to the voters.

The Election Commission has set up 2,338 polling stations for 18,36,576 voters, including 9,33,647 male, 9,02,902 female, and 27 third-gender voters. The voter list also includes 17,967 persons with disabilities and 540 individuals over the age of 100.

There are 25,000 migrant voters in the constituency for whom special polling stations have been set up in Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi.

For uninterrupted communication with polling staff at remote booths, satellite phones and wireless sets have been provided.

As many as 19 polling stations are located along the Line of Control (LoC), where additional security deployment has been made.

There are 20 candidates in the fray in this constituency. The main contest is, however, between Mian Altaf Ahmad, senior Gujjar/Baksrwal leader of the National Conference (NC), Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Zafar Iqbal Manhas of J&K Apni Party.

The BJP has unofficially supported the Apni Party candidate and has not fielded any candidate in this constituency.

Pahari community living in Poonch and Rajouri districts form a significant number of voters in the constituency. The community was recently given ST status by the government.

In addition to the Pahari community, Gujjar/Bakarwal community also form a significant part of the constituency’s electorate.

Mian Altaf Ahmad of the NC has a predominant influence among the Gujjar/Bakarwal community which cuts across party lines since the Mian is considered to be the religious leader of this community.

Voting started at 7 a.m. and will end at 6 p.m.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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