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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Against 8.9% in 2019, voter turnout surges to 54.46% in Anantnag-Rajouri constituency

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI) the current percentage of polling was the highest in the past 40 years.
Last Updated : 25 May 2024, 16:48 IST
Last Updated : 25 May 2024, 16:48 IST

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Srinagar: Continuing the trend of high voter turnout in earlier phases of the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the newly redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri constituency saw a significant increase in voter participation, rising from mere 8.9 per cent in the 2019 polls to 54.46 per cent (at 12 midnight IST) this year.

Voting commenced at 7 am and concluded at 6 pm peacefully. The voters, braving the unexpected hot weather, were seen queuing up enthusiastically to exercise their franchise while understanding the power of voting in transforming their lives.

The boundaries of Anantnag constituency were extended across the Pir Panjal after 2022 delimitation to include Jammu’s Rajouri and Poonch. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI) the current percentage of polling was the highest in the past 40 years. In 1984, the constituency had witnessed 70.08 per cent polling.

Two other parliamentary constituencies in the valley - Srinagar (38.49 per cent), Baramulla (59.1per cent) - also recorded voter turnouts that are the highest in several decades. The overall voter turnout in three constituencies is 50 per cent, a significant increase from the 19.16 per cent recorded in 2019.

The high voter turnout across Kashmir is seen as a beacon of hope, signaling the dawn of a new era in the region which remained engulfed in violence for over three decades.

Earlier in the day People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, who is contesting from Anantnag-Rajouri seat, alleged that her party workers and polling agents were being detained by police “without any reason.”

She also claimed that complaints regarding the efforts to “tamper the EVMs” are being received. However, the police said detentions are very few and restricted only to those with a tainted past, based on inputs of potential threats to security on polling day.

Mehbooba, a former chief minister, also claimed that outgoing calls on her cell phone have been suspended without any explanation. The PDP president, who has earlier represented the constituency in 2004 and 2014, is contesting against National Conference strongman Mian Altaf Ahmad and J&K Apni Party’s Zafar Iqbal Manhas.

The constituency was set to go to polls on May 7, but was deferred to May 25 due to severe weather conditions and representations from some parties. The polling on all five seats of J&K Union Territory and one seat in Ladakh UT ended today in the sixth phase of General Elections.

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Published 25 May 2024, 16:48 IST

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