Anantnag-Rajouri Witnesses Historic 53% Turnout, Breaking 35-Years Record in J&K Lok Sabha Polls Phase 6


Anantnag-Rajouri Witnesses Historic 53% Turnout, Breaking 35-Years Record in J&K Lok Sabha Polls Phase 6

Syed Nazakat Khaleefa

Anantnag May 25 2024: After record voter turnouts in Srinagar and Baramulla in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency too has shattered voter turnout records, with 53 % recorded in the districts of Anantnag, Poonch, Kulgam and districts of Rajouri and Shopian partially, the highest since 1989 ie in 35 years.Anantnag-Rajouri’s 53 percent, Surankote reported the highest turnout at 68 percent, while Kulgam and Anantnag saw lower participation with 32 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Migrant polling booths also recorded over 50 percent turnout according to officialsIn the final phase of polling for Jammu and Kashmir, voting in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, which was reconfigured in a recent delimitation exercise, saw a diverse array of candidates and vigorous campaigning. This phase of the election is crucial, as it will determine the political landscape of the region. Observers noted that the efficient conduct of the polls reflects positively on the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir, showcasing the resilience and determination of its citizens. Polling commenced early Saturday morning in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency.

Voting started at 7 a.m. and will continue until 6 p.m. This crucial election sees 20 candidates vying for the seat, including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.The constituency, covering 18 assembly segments across Kulgam, Anantnag, Poonch, Shopian, and Rajouri districts, hosts more than 18.36 lakh eligible voters. Among these voters, over 500 are centenarians, and around 18,000 are differently-abled individuals, reflecting the constituency’s diverse demographic.To facilitate smooth and efficient voting, the Election Commission has established 2,338 polling stations throughout the constituency. Each polling station is staffed by four election officials, including a presiding officer. Special arrangements have been made at 19 border polling stations in Rajouri and Poonch, with 17 polling booths managed by women, 15 by differently-abled people, and eight by young officials. Additionally, there are 15 “green” polling stations, emphasizing environmental consciousness.Prominent candidates in this election include Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister; Mian Altaf Ahmad, a leading Gujjar figure from the National Conference; Zafar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party and Mohammad Saleem Parray from the Democratic Progressive Azad Party.Bashir Ahmad Jara, a resident of Batkoot Pahalgam in Anantnag said that we are voting to safeguard our forest rights, land rights, and the livelihood of the Gujjar community. Our forests and lands are essential for our survival, providing resources and maintaining our traditional practices. By voting, we aim to ensure that our voices are heard and that our rights are protected. Our livelihoods depend on these resources, and we seek leaders who will support and preserve our way of life for future generations. Our vote is a vote for our future for the preservation of our environment and for the wellbeing of the Gujjar Community

Liyaqat Ahmad, a young first-time voter said that Casting my vote is an opportunity to influence change, particularly for the youth,I believe that our votes can be a powerful tool to break the chain of unemployment that many young people face today and despite completing our degrees and having the necessary qualifications, we are often confronted with the harsh reality of job scarcity.He emphasized that addressing unemployment is his primary motivation for voting. We need leaders who understand our struggles and are committed to implementing policies that foster employment and economic growth.


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