2% turnout in Srinagar LS seat repoll

Record low: 709 of 35,169 voters took part in the electoral process

2% turnout in Srinagar LS seat repoll

Only 2% turnout was witnessed in the repolling held in 38 polling stations in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, making it the lowest percentage in the state’s electoral history.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu said 709 of the 35,169 voters participated in the electoral process, which amounts to a poll percentage of 2.02%.

He said polling concluded peacefully at all 38 polling stations, spread over five Assembly segments of Budgam district. Officials said no vote was polled at 27 of the 38 stations. However, despite the abysmal turnout, the polling by and large passed off peacefully.

Activist injured

According to reports, a political activist was injured after workers of the ruling PDP and Opposition National Conference clashed during polling in Badran village of Beerwah constituency in Budgam.

Witnesses said clashes erupted in Beerwah town in the evening after security forces started withdrawing at the end of repolling. They said youth threw stones at the withdrawing forces, triggering clashes, which went on till late evening.

Authorities had made elaborate security arrangements in all poll-bound areas, with additional police and paramilitary personnel deployed in strength around the polling booths.

Restrictions were imposed on public movement around the polling booths to prevent any violence. In view of Sunday’s incident, three companies — two CRPF and one Jammu and Kashmir Police — were deployed at each polling station, with at least one security bunker.

“We didn’t want to take any chances this time as there were some chinks in the security plan on Sunday, which saw rampaging mobs attack polling booths,” a police officer told DH. The authorities had also snapped broadband Internet services across Kashmir without prior notice.

Eight protesters were killed in firing by security forces on Sunday during the bypoll in Budgam and Ganderbal districts of the Srinagar Lok Sabha segment, forcing the Election Commission to defer the south Kashmir Anantnag Parliamentary seat bypoll to May 25. Voting in the constituency was otherwise scheduled for April 12.

The bypoll result for the Srinagar constituency, which saw 7.14% turnout on Sunday and 2.02% in the repoll on Thursday, will be declared on April 15.

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