Polling peaceful in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, provisional figures indicate highest turnout since 1996

Polling peaceful in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, provisional figures indicate highest turnout since 1996. — IANS

Srinagar, May 13 (IANS) Polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on Monday ended peacefully without any law & order incident and with all polling stations recording a good voter turnout, pegged provisionally at nearly 37 per cent – the highest since the 1996 elections, officials said.

This was the first general election in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370 and the enaction of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

Addressing a press conference here, J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P.K Pole said: “Voters have participated enthusiastically in today’s polling. Around 2 lakh young voters are registered in this constituency. Young voters also took part in large numbers.”

“For migrant voters, we had set up 26 special polling stations – 21 in Jammu, 1 in Udhampur, and 4 in Delhi. The polling percentage in these polling stations is almost the same as recorded in the rest of the Srinagar constituency. More than 6,000 migrants had exercised their voting rights till 7 p.m.”

As per an EC statement, the turnout in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, which spans districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, and Pulwama, and parts of Budgam and Shopian districts partly, was 36.58 per cent, as of 8 p.m.

This was the highest since 1996, when a 40.94 per cent turnout was recorded, and much higher than 14.43 per cent in 2019 and 25.86 per cent in 2014.

The CEO put it at 36.73 per cent, adding that roughly speaking till the exact statistics are worked out, a 4 per cent increase is likely.

Polling took place in 2,135 polling stations across the constituency with live webcasting at all the polling stations. Voting started at 7 a.m. across the PC with long queues of enthusiastic voters waiting to cast their votes

Asked about reports of a candidate having been arrested, the CEO said: “This I am hearing for the first time from you. So far as the imposition of restrictions is concerned, all of you know the past history of J&K. We have to take preventive measures to ensure peaceful polls and to keep people with past criminal records under check.”

“Our first priority was to hold peaceful polls. There has been no stone pelting, no boycott and there is no polling station where the polling percentage is zero.”

He said the ECI received 234 complaints of violation of MCC and 11 FIRs have been registered after taking cognisance of these complaints. “We have issued notice in 80 complaints and enquiry has been ordered in 29 complaints. Seizures have taken place at 10 places,” he said.

The CEO said the EVM replacement had been merely 0.24 per cent, which is the lowest in J&K Lok Sabha polls so far.

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