Srinagar records historic polling

Srinagar records historic polling

Once a hotbed of militancy and separatism, Srinagar city on Sunday recorded 28 per cent turnout in the penultimate phase of five-phased assembly elections. The percentage is highest since militancy erupted in the state in 1989.

In 2008 elections, Srinagar had recorded 20 per cent voter turnout while polling percentage in 1996 and 2002 elections was 5.13 per cent and 19.20 per cent respectively.

In all the eight city constituencies that went to polls, the polling percentage increased compared to 2008. Hazratbal Assembly segment which had recorded 26.5 per cent polling last time recorded 29.36 per cent this time while Habba Kadal constituency which had recorded 11.28 per cent in 2008 saw a jump of almost 10 per cent this time. Similarly, Zadibal constituency which had recorded 16.60 per cent polling last time saw 23.64 per cent this time while polling per cent in Eidgah doubled from 13.30 per cent in 2008 to 27.79 this time.

The volatile Khanyar constituency also recorded a jump of almost 10 per cent voting compared to 2008 when it had recorded 16.54 per cent while Batamaloo constituency which recorded 18.06 per cent last time witnessed 24.34 voter turnout this time.

Amira Kadal Assembly segment which was devastated by the recent floods witnessed 24.81 per cent polling compared to 13.5 per cent last time while another flood hit constituency Sonwar witnessed highest of 44.17 per cent compared to 33.64 percent last time.

Political analysts believe the surge in voter turnout as a careful calibration of the regional parties National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to keep the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party at bay in the Muslim majority state.
Though at some places in the city stone pelting youth tried to enforce poll boycott, elaborate security arrangements ensured that people came out to vote despite chilling winter.

Reports said that police fired tear gas to chase away the protesters at several places in the old city.

With the fourth phase, the polling process came to an end in Kashmir Valley as all the 20 seats going to polls in the fifth and the last phase on December 20 are in Jammu region.

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