Lok Sabha Polls: Anantnag In Jammu And Kashmir Records 8.76 Per Cent Voter Turnout

Voting in militancy-hit Pulwama and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag constituency ended with a turnout of 8.76 per cent, a significant fall from the turnout of 28.54 per cent recorded during the 2014 Lok Sabha election

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Lok Sabha Polls: Anantnag In Jammu And Kashmir Records 8.76 Per Cent Voter Turnout

Lok Sabha polls: Anantnag constituency recorded only 2.81 per cent voter turnout


Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir: 

Voting in terror-hit Pulwama and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag constituency ended at 4 pm today - an hour earlier than other constituencies. The turnout was 8.76 per cent, a significant fall from the 28.54 per cent recorded during the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Polling in the state had been severely affected by security concerns and fear of public unrest, made worse by the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 soldiers were killed.

Since the attack, terror and national security have become major poll issues with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) struggling to recover credibility, particularly following the failed alliance with the BJP post Assembly polls last year.

The tense atmosphere even limited the campaigning each candidate was able to do, with former Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti - the sitting lawmaker from Anantnag who is seeking re-election -- staying away from canvassing. Her rivals, the National Conference and the Congress limited theirs to their respective party offices.

Ms Mufti and NC leader Omar Abdullah, both usually active on Twitter, were uncharacteristically quiet today, with Mr Abdullah only posting a message thanking voters who "braved the threats to come out & cast their votes".

Ms Mufti chose only to post messages wishing people on the start of the holy month of ramzan.

There were concerns over security that prompted the Election Commission to spread out the voting in Anantnag across three phases. Today, a grenade attack took place at a polling booth in Rohmoo in Pulwama and an explosion at a polling station in Tral area. There were no casualties in either incident.

There were also reports of a petrol bomb thrown at a polling booth set up in a school in Shopian. The tense atmosphere found reflection in 320 of the 1,250 booths set up across Pulwama and  Shopian that recorded zero per cent polling. 

Polling in Ms Mufti's home turf of Bijbehara Assembly segment, which took place earlier on April 23, offered another indication of voter apathy towards politicians of all parties. During the third phase of the election, 40 booths in Bijbehara recorded zero per cent voting. 

Anantnag constituency has 13.97 lakh registered voters. Voting in the seat was spread across April 23, April 29 and May 6 and election results will be declared on May 23.



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