Jammu: Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency recorded 58.13 per cent polling, while the turnout was low in Srinagar seat with only 12.43 per cent of voters exercising their franchise till 3 pm on Thursday in the second phase of general elections in Jammu and Kashmir, according to poll officials.
No untoward incident was reported during polling which was being held amid tight security due to militant threats and a boycott call by separatists in Kashmir. Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency recorded 58.13 percent polling, with Kathua district registering the highest of 64.6 percent polling till 3 pm, poll officials said.
Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency recorded 12.43 per cent polling, with highest 17.1 per cent polling recorded in Shia dominated Budgam district till 3 pm, they said, adding polling has been peaceful so far. Over 29.81 lakh people in the two seats are eligible to vote to decide the fate of 24 candidates, including former Chief Minister and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Union Minister Jitendra Singh who are contesting for Srinagar and Udhampur Parliamentary constituencies respectively.
In the 2014 election, Srinagar witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the country at 25.86 per cent whereas Udhampur witnessed 70.9 per cent polling Voters in the border district of Kathua and Udhampur turned up in large numbers at polling booths this morning to exercise their franchise, officials said. A newly-married couple was seen in their wedding finery at a polling station in Udhampur town. The enthusiastic couple said youths should come out to vote.
There was a problem with EVM at a polling station in Ramban district but it was later rectified. Raj Devi, 95, voted at a polling station in Chenani in Udhampur district. While Kathua district recorded 64.6 percent polling, Reasi registered 62.7 per cent turnout. Udhampur district registered 63.1 percent polling, Doda 57.2 per cent, Kishtwar (50.4 percent) and Ramban district recorded 50.8 per cent till 3 pm.
In Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Shia dominated Budgam with 17.1 per cent turnout was followed by Ganderbal which registered 14.4 per cent voting. Srinagar district polled lowest at 5.7 per cent till 3 pm, they said. Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength in and around polling stations in all three districts — Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal — of the constituency, the officials said.
Separatists had called for shutdown in the three districts against the Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, authorities snapped mobile internet services in these districts as a precautionary measure. “The mobile internet service has been suspended as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” an official said. BSNL’s broadband service was working, but its speed has been decreased. For migrant voters of the constituency, 26 polling stations have been set up with 21 polling stations in Jammu, one in Udhampur and four in New Delhi.
In Srinagar, Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns Aga Moshin of the PDP, Irfan Ansari of the People’s Conference and Khalid Jehangir of the BJP. In Udhampur, prominent contestants include four Rajputs: Union minister Jitendra Singh seeking reelection on a BJP ticket, Dogra dynasty scion Vikramaditya Singh fighting as a Congress candidate, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan founder Choudhary Lal Singh and National Panthers party chairman Harsh Dev Singh.
The Udhampur parliamentary seat has 16, 85,779 electors and with 2,710 polling stations. Srinagar constituency has 12,95,304 registered voters and 1,716 polling stations.