4,100 migrants cast vote in Jammu, Delhi

Kashmiri migrants in a queue at polling station Barnai to cast their vote on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Kashmiri migrants in a queue at polling station Barnai to cast their vote on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

KPs protest after finding names missing

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Apr 23: Despite cumbersome voting procedure adopted by Election Commission of India, 4101 Kashmiri migrants turned up to cast their votes in 26 special polling stations established for them by the Government at Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi out of 6745 migrants, who had filled up the M Forms and opted to cast their votes in Anantnag district which went to polls today in the third Phase of polling.
The Anantnag–Pulwama constituency of which Anantnag district is a part will go to polls in three phases. Anantnag district went to polls in third phase today while the Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian will vote in next two phases.
According to ARO Migrants, Jammu, Pankaj Anand, out of 6745 migrant voters who had opted to cast their vote for Anantnag district, 4015 migrants exercised their right to franchise in 21 special polling booths in Jammu today. Click here to watch video
Giving details, he said out of them highest number of votes were polled at Polling Booth in Government School, Chak Changarwan near here where out of 883 voters, 516 migrants cast vote. This was followed by polling booth at Director School Education where out of 805 registered migrants, 462 polled their vote.
The ARO said at special polling booth Miran Sahib in R S Pura tehsil five migrants cast their vote out of 15 registered voters, which was the lowest figure.
He said the polling proceeded smoothly during the day and at various polling stations the voters had reached to their respective polling booths prior to starting of polling at 7 am.
Seventy two migrants cast their vote at Special Polling Booth, Udhampur out of 137 registered migrant voters. This was stated by ARO Migrants, Udhampur, Dr Anirudh Rai. He said it came out to 52 percent of total votes cast.
In Delhi where Government had established four special polling booths for Kashmiri migrants, 14 votes were polled out of 19 registered voters which, as per official reports, is 73 percent voting. Out of them, 11 votes were polled by migrants from Anantnag Assembly segment while three votes were polled by migrants from Kokernag Assembly segment, ARO Migrants, Delhi, Digvijay Gupta told Excelsior. These all migrants had opted to cast their vote at Polling Station JK House Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi, he added.
Polling was hampered at Migrant Polling Station, Barnai Panchayatgarh in Raipur Damana for over half an hour after the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) developed a snag. The migrant voters who had come to cast their vote had to wait for some time till the EVM was replaced by the polling staff.
However, on all other stations the polling was conducted smoothly throughout the day.
Meanwhile, the Kashmiri Pandits staged a protest demonstration after finding their names missing from voter list in Jagti.
The members of KP community who alleged that their names were missing in voter list staged a strong protest at Jagti and shouted slogans against the Election authorities.
“We had filled up our M Forms but despite that our names are missing from the voter list,” the protestors said, adding it has been a routine process that the migrants who fill up the M Forms do not find their names in voter lists later and they have to return from polling booths without casting the vote. They accused the authorities especially the Election Commission of India of making a mockery of entire election process for migrants and harassing the community.
The KP voters also rued the arrangements and flayed authorities for missing names in the voter lists. They urged the ECI as well as State Election authorities to settle this problem once and for all. They said last time the issue was also taken up with Election authorities of the State but they failed to look into the matter.
The migrants asked the authorities to ensure that no name of voters should be missing in the voter lists of Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts who have in time filled up their M Forms failing which they will be constrained to launch agitation.