Over 25,000 migrants to cast vote in Anantnag-Rajouri seat tomorrow

34 Special Polling Booths set up in Jammu, Delhi
Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, May 23: Over 25,000 Kashmiri migrants will exercise their franchise on May 25 in Anantnag-Rajouri constituency which is going to polls in sixth phase along with 58 constituencies spread all over the country.
The authorities have made all arrangements for voting in Jammu, Udhampur and NCR Delhi by setting up 34 Special Polling Booths including four in NCR Delhi and one in Udhampur while highest number of 29 Special Polling Booths will be set up in Jammu.
According to official sources, out of 29 Polling Booths in Jammu eight will be Auxiliary Polling Stations. This is the highest number of Auxiliary Polling Stations established for the migrants so far. In earlier two Parliamentary constituencies of Central Kashmir, Srinagar and North Kashmir, Baramulla three and two Auxiliary Polling Booths were set up.
Out of eight Auxiliary Polling Booths two will be established in Government Middle School Chinore, two in Government Mixed Higher Secondary School Muthi, two in Jagti township and one each in Agriculture Complex Udheywala Bohri and Anuradha Higher Secondary School, Barnai, sources said.

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Besides, two Special Polling Stations will be set up — one at Jagti township another at Muthi Camp Higher Secondary School which in addition to other facilities will have CCTV coverage facility also, sources said, adding on all other polling booths the drinking water facilities will be made available while gifts will be given to first time voters. In addition to it, to and fro transport facilities for all voters will be made available and tenting (Shamiyana) facility will be provided in all Polling Stations in view of scorching heat, sources added.
The Polling Stations having the strength of over 1000 voters have been named as Auxiliary Polling Booths, sources said, adding various measures have been taken to ensure hassle free voting by migrants and like previous time the displaced voters will be allowed to cast their vote in the nearest polling booth of their residence in case their name will not be enlisted in the extract voter roll of that polling booth.
Sources said out of 40,000 migrant voters in Anantnag -Rajouri Parliamentary constituency as per the electoral rolls of Kashmir near about 26,000 were mapped by Election Commission of India after the deletion of M Forms for this constituency. Out of them 25,250 were enlisted in Jammu while 614 have been enlisted in Udhampur and 183 in NCR Delhi, sources added.
Sources said the highest number of 4000 migrant voters for Anantnag constituency will cast their vote at Special Polling Booth in Middle School Chinore while the lowest number of 250 voters will cast their vote at Special Polling Booth in IIM Jammu.
ARO Migrants, Dr Riyaz Ahmed said that all arrangements are in place and this time due to the increased number of voters, the number of polling booths has also been raised to 34 out of which 29 booths will be set up alone in Jammu.
Meanwhile, Kashmiri migrants while expressing their pleasure over the Government decision of eliminating the cumbersome process of M Forms said this was the great impediment in past in their way to cast the vote. They said though the decision was taken at eleventh hour and some discrepancies were witnessed in early two phases of Srinagar and Baramulla Parliamentary constituencies but the process has been set in motion for future and it is hoped during the Assembly poll the participation of migrants in the elections will be much encouraging.
Hira Lal Bhat, a socio-political activist said that Home Minister, Amit Shah deserves credit for taking personnel interest on the plea of some community leaders in eliminating the cumbersome process of M Forms and this way a process has been set for Assembly elections when migrants will enmass take part in the voting.
He said the community showed lot of enthusiasm in election process after deletion of M Forms and despite the scorching heat and hostile weather people came out in large numbers in last two phases to cast their vote which was not seen in past elections held since 1996.
BJP spokesperson, G L Raina, president Kashmir displaced district Chand Ji Bhat and senior leader, Anil Dhar expressed the hope that the migrants in large number will participate in voting on May 25 and demonstrate their solidarity with the national cause.