South Kashmir’s quantum jump in voter turnout from 8.98% in 2019 to 43.68%

Jamaat leader Mohammad Yousuf Wani after casting his vote at Shopian. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
Jamaat leader Mohammad Yousuf Wani after casting his vote at Shopian. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 25: In a turnaround of events, the Anantnag constituency which had recorded 8.98 percent voter turnout in 2019 today saw a turnout of 43. 68 percent (Anantnag part only) with large numbers of voters in South Kashmir seen in long queues outside Polling Stations since early morning.

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South Kashmir had a history of boycotting elections, and today it broke the trend and voted in large numbers. The villages of Heff in the Shopian district, Mehand and Arwani in the Anantnag district, and Bugam, Mohamadpora and other areas in the Kulgam district where hardly any votes were cast in the last elections saw brisk polling today.
When asked about the change of heart, the residents said that they want a change in their lives now.
Mohammad Ahsan of village Heff, said they voted so as to live peacefully now. “We want peace, development and employment. We need better healthcare and educational facilities,” he said.

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In Jablipora area of Bijbehara, once a hotbed of militancy, large numbers cast their vote for the first time after many decades.
This area has remained the hotbed for militancy as so far around 40 militants from the locality have been killed in the last three decades. The area saw good voter turnout as the area wants a change for the better now.
In South Kashmir part of Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, Anantnag Assembly segment recorded 3.47 percent, Dooru 17.28 percent, Kokernag 19.50 percent, Shangus 15.10 percent, Bijbehara 2.04 percent, Pahalgam 20.37 percent, Noorabad 20.58 percent, Kulgam 1.72 percent, Homeshalibugh 1.14 percent, Devsar 16.84 percent, and Wachi 1.70 percent voting in 2019 Parliamentary elections.
Today, Zainpora Assembly segment recorded 40 percent, D.H.Pora 55 percent, Kulgam 32 percent, Devsar 44 percent, Dooru 46 percent, Kokernag 52 percent, Anantnag West 36.09 percent, Anantnag 33.48 percent, Srigufwara Bijbehra 43 percent, Shangus Anantnag East 43 percent and 56 percent.