Jammu: The fate of 77 candidates, including Union ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad, from six Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir will be known after the counting of votes tomorrow.

“Tight security arrangements have been made in and around the counting centres in five districts in Jammu and Kashmir. All other arrangements have also been put in place,” a senior officer of J&K Election department officer said today.

For Jammu Lok Sabha constituency, the counting will begin at Polytechnic College in Jammu from 0800 hours, followed by counting for Udhampur LS constituency in Kathua, Ladakh LS seat at Leh, Anantnag LS seat at Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla LS seats in Srinagar and Baramulla.

The six seats of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a poll percentage of nearly 50 per cent as 70 lakh voters participated in the elections from the state.

This year’s Lok Sabha elections witnessed the highest ever turnout with 66.38 per cent of an estimated 814 million voters exercising their franchise — the highest ever in the history of general elections.

The stakes are high for NC-Congress coalition in LS polls ahead of December-end Assembly elections as political heavy weights and former J&K Chief Ministers Abdullah and Azad are in the fray along with its MPs. In last elections, the NC-congress coalition had bagged 5 out of 6 seats.

Giving tough fight to NC-Congress coalition is opposition PDP with the party’s chief Mehbooba Mufti hoping to score a victory from Kashmir Valley in order to increase its electoral turf ahead of Assembly elections in J&K.

State BJP Chief Jugal Kishore Sharma and JKNPP Chief Prof Bhim Singh are contesting from Jammu region in the state.

Union Minister Abdullah, who is candidate from NC bastion Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, has been Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir twice in 1987 and 1996.

Abdullah’s Cabinet colleague and Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad, who too is a former Chief Minister of J&K (between 2006 and 2008), contested the Lok Sabha election for the first time from his hometown Udhampur.

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Free Press Journal