Baramulla breaks 4-decade old record, voting percentage 59

Voters waiting in queue to cast their votes at Pattan in Baramulla district. -Excelsior/Abid Nabi
Voters waiting in queue to cast their votes at Pattan in Baramulla district. -Excelsior/Abid Nabi

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, May 20: Breaking all the records of the last four decades, voters in large numbers queued up outside Polling Stations across Baramulla constituency to cast their vote.
The officials said 59 percent polling was recorded in Baramulla constituency today to decide the fate of National Conference candidate Omar Abdullah, Peoples Conference candidate Sajjad Lone and jailed AIP leader Abdul Rashid Sheikh alias Engineer Rashid and others.

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Last time the highest polling in the constituency was recorded in 1984 at 61.09 percent. The official data suggests that constituency recorded, 37.41 per cent voting in 2019, 38.96 percent in 2014, 41.84 per cent in 2009, 35.65 per cent in 2004, 27.79 per cent in 1999, 41.49 in 1998, 46.65 in 1996, no elections held in 1991, 5. 48 in 1989, 61.09 in 1984, 56.02 in 1980,56.97 in 1977, 50.62 in 1971, and 51.35 in 1967.

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Baramulla constituency saw aggressive campaigning by NC, PC and AIP that led to higher voter turnout in the constituency.

CEO PK Pole addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Monday.
CEO PK Pole addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Monday.

While the polling passed off smoothly in the segment, there however were few sporadic untoward incidents reported from Pattan area.
Hailing the turnout ‘historic’, Chief Electoral Officer Pandurang Kondbharao Pole said: “The people of Baramulla have made history today with the highest poll percentage ever recorded for the Parliamentary seat and an election day free from violence.”
“The constituency had 2,103 Polling Stations, all monitored by CCTV surveillance to ensure smooth conduct,” said Pole.
“Despite some complaints of slow polling, investigations revealed that the polling staff were working diligently and effectively,” he said, adding, “There were no untoward incidents reported anywhere, and zero violence was witnessed”.
The Handwara assembly segment, the Electoral Officer said, recorded the highest polling percentage at 67.5 percent, while the Gurez Assembly segment saw the lowest turnout.
The family of Awami Ittehad Party patron Abdul Rashid Sheikh, alias Er. Rashid, polled their votes at Government Higher Secondary School Sanzipora Mawer Handwara while Peoples’ Conference Chairperson Sajad Gani Lone polled his vote at Government Boys Higher Secondary School Handwara and Peoples’ Democratic Party candidate Fayaz Ahmad Mir in Main town Kupwara.
NC vice president Omar Abdullah told reporters after visiting Polling Stations in Budgam that the security situation in Kashmir is not normal.
“We have been saying that the situation (in Kashmir) is not normal. The militants have proved repeatedly that they can attack whenever they want to. Unfortunately, a politician, an ex-sarpanch of the BJP, lost his life and two tourists were injured (in terrorist attacks),” the NC leader said, referring to Saturday’s twin attacks in Shopian and Anantnag.
On the BJP’s claims that the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved, Abdullah said the party should not make such claims and the credit for the little improvement should go to the people here.
Sajjad Lone after casting his vote at Handwara this morning told reporters that his party will erase the concept of lodging FIR’s and police verification culture if voted to power.
“If voted to power, I promise to erase the FIR and police verification culture that is affecting our youth,” he said, adding that the issue was one of the main motives of his party.