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Democracy triumphs again in J&K

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J&K records 58 pc polling in five PCs, highest in 35 years| Photo The Legitimate

 In a historic display of democratic fervor, electors in Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency turned out in a remarkable numbers to vote peacefully in the sixth phase of country-wide General Elections to 18th Lok Sabha registering a significant voter turnout of around 53 %.

“The significant participation of voters, including first timers, women and senior citizens stands testament to strength and resilience of democracy in the Union Territory”, stated Chief Electoral Officer, Pandurang K Pole while elaborating on details in this regard.

With conclusion of the Lok Sabha Polls in the UT, Jammu and Kashmir has registered an unprecedented 58.11 per cent polling in its five Parliamentary Constituencies which is highest in the past 35 years, added the CEO.       

The peaceful conduct of polling in the last phase in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed around 53% voting in the districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Poonch besides Shopian and Rajouri districts partly. Fractional correction is expected in the percentage figure, as at some of the Polling Stations voting continued even after 6.00 pm and many polling parties are yet to reach the Reception Center.

This remarkable participation marks a new era of peace and civic engagement in these districts. This year’s elections were conducted without any boycott calls or intimidation, exhibiting voters’ unwavering belief in the power of ballot. Not a single polling station reported zero voting, a testament to the wide spread enthusiasm and commitment to the democratic process.

The corresponding percentage for last Lok Sabha election in 2019 was 9.70 %.

Sr. noYearAnantnag PC
120199.70
2201428.80
3200927.10
4200415.04
5199914.32
6199828.15
7199650.02
81991No election held, due to turmoil
919895.07

Since eruption of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, the highest ever poll percentage in Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency, was recorded in year 1996 with 50.02%. Hence the poll percentage 53 % is highest in last 35 years, since eruption of militancy in J&K.

The CEO attributed the success and high voter turnout to certain factors including improved security, law and order environment in last 4-5 years, mobilization by 20 candidates and political parties, election awareness through SVEEP activities and more importantly voters strong belief that it is the Ballot which can lead to sustainable development (aman, tarraki aur khush-hali).

The polling took place in 2338 polling stations across the Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency with live webcasting at all the polling stations. Voting started at 7 a.m. across the PC with long queues of enthusiastic voters waiting to cast their ballots.

Demonstrating the spirit of democracy the voters of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, Rajouri and Poonch districts showed up in record numbers to cast their votes in a significant show of faith in the election process. Since beginning of the poll at 7.00 am, the voters were seen standing in long queues at many polling stations across all the 5 districts. Elderlies, ladies, youths were seen enthusiastically exercising their right to vote in a peaceful environment.  

The Chief Electoral Officer and other senior officers of election department monitored the progress of voting in Phase-VI across the Parliamentary Constituency from the Union Territory level Command and Control Center established at ICCC- HMT, Bemina and CEO Office, Srinagar.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Command and Control center had been working 24 x 7 at Srinagar as well as Jammu since 16 March to ensure free, fair and inducement-free elections.

After two hours of polling, 8.98% voting was recorded in the constituency at 09:00 am; 23.34 % at 11.00 am, 35.61% at 01:00 pm; 44.88% at 3:00 pm while 51.35 % polling was recorded by 5:00 pm. Assembly segment wise highest poll percentage was observed in Surankote Assembly segment with around 68.00 % and lowest in Kulgam Assembly segment with around 32 %. Budhal and Rajouri assembly segments have also recorded higher poll percentage.

At the time of culmination of Polling, Assembly Segment wise tentative voter turnout in the Anantnag PC was as under:

Sr NoAssembly segmentPoll % at 5.00 PM (tentative)Close of Poll (tentative)
1Zainpora39.40 %40.00 %
2D.H.Pora55.00 %55.00 %
3Kulgam31.99 %32.00 %
4Devsar41.50 %44.00 %
5Dooru45.21 %46.00 %
6Kokarnag50.00 %52.00 %
7Anantnag West34.65 %36.09 %
8Anantnag31.21 %33.48 %
9Srigufwara Bijbehra42.40 %43.00 %
10Shangus Anantnag East41.94 %43.00 %
11Pahalgam55.63 %56.00 %
12Nawshera65.47 %65.47 %
13Rajouri67.09 %67.18 %
14Budhal64.91 %67.00 %
15Thanamandi65.34 %66.20 %
16Surankote62.95 %68.36 %
17Poonch Haveli64.19 %67.35 %
18Mendhar64.69 %66.08 %
Total Poll on Polling Station51.3553.00 % (Approx.)
Total Migrant Special PS PollingApprox. 39 % overall (at Udhampur 50 % and Delhi 53 % )40 %
Total Postal Votes received (Absentee, VFC and receive ETPBMS till date) votes9761 (till date received)

 These figures against each Assembly Segment are tentative as postal votes polled during home voting, through EDC, Postal ballot, ETPBs and Migrant votes polled at special polling stations have not been added.  

Around 18,36,576 electors had been enrolled for casting their vote in this Parliamentary Constituency. More than 9,000 polling staff performed poll duty. The polling continued till 6.00 pm while at few polling stations of Poonch- Rajouri and other areas, it continued till the last voter in queue exercised his franchise. At every polling station, basic minimum facilities of water, electricity, toilet, ramp, verandah/ waiting room had been made.

The authorities have ensured that wheelchairs and volunteers are provided to the needy as and when required. All the polling stations were adorned in all colours of festivities.

Pertinently, Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, during his visit to J&K in March, had stressed on ensuring huge voter participation of all sections of the society and efforts were made earnestly to make sure the same.

Additionally, in order to ensure inclusive voting, 17 polling booths managed by women (also called as pink polling stations),15 managed by specially abled persons and 8 polling stations managed by youths were established. Also to spread the message about environmental concerns, 15 green polling stations were set up.

To facilitate voter identification, apart from EPIC card, other documents such as Adhar card, Bank Passbooks, Driving License, PAN Card, Government employee ID card were also allowed. Media facilitation was done through special passes for more than 600 journalists.

“The democratic spirit has won over any kind of apprehension in the mind of the common Kashmiri voter. Despite terror incidence of Pahalgam, Shopian, Surankote-Mendhar in Poonch, the voters were seen coming in large numbers to vote. Anti-national elements failed to deter voters from exercising their constitutional rights. All candidates and parties were able to reach every nook and corner of the constituency during extended campaigning period from 5th to 23rd May. Meticulous planning and execution of SVEEP activities was done and it ultimately resulted in a significant increase in the voter turnout. SMS blast on mobile though telecom companies, hoarding, flex, nukkad natak, street play, painting competition, various sports competitions, rallies and related events resulted into an increase overall voter turnout. The spirit of democracy has triumphed and not even a single incident of stone pelting or any kind of violence has been reported on poll day.”, maintained the CEO.

The enthusiasm among the political parties, who are an important stakeholder in the democratic process can be gauged from the fact that a record number of applications regarding various permissions have been received on the Suvidha portal. The campaigning in Anantnag PC had been violence free witnessing historic participation of voters.

There were more than 26,000 Kashmiri migrant electors in the PC who opted for voting at 26 Special Polling Stations established at Jammu (21), Udhampur (01) and Delhi (04). At these 26 special polling stations, there was voter turnout of 40% at Jammu, around 50 % at Udhampur and 53 % at Delhi. It is for the first time that the migrant community has turned for voting in such a large numbers.

The CEO has expressed gratitude towards all the voters who came in large numbers to cast their votes despite of weather challenges. He also appreciated work done by all the Polling personnel including security personnel deployed in the election process, police officers, ARO, RO and District Election Officers for their service in making the ongoing elections successful.

The broader Union Territory level picture is given in table –

PC NoPC NameTotal ElectorsTotal Pollin g StationsAC No.AC NamePolling stationsPoll %age
1Baramulla173786521031KARNAH7561.87
2TREHGAM8962.56
3KUPWARA9260.32
4LOLAB9858.77
5HANDWARA11772.04
6LANGATE14063.58
7SOPORE12944.36
8RAFIABAD14957.38
9URI14762.98
10BARAMULLA15852.15
11GULMARG10759.52
12WAGOORA-KREERI9849.79

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