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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | At 59%, J&K's Baramulla sees second-highest voter turnout ever recorded

Besides the highest voter turnout, Pole said the constituency created another record by having a zero-violence polling day.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 18:19 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 18:19 IST

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Srinagar:The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat in north Kashmir on Monday scripted another chapter in the region's democratic history as the voter turnout surged to an impressive 59 percent, the second highest in its electoral history.

J&K Chief Electoral Officer Pandurang Kondbarao Pole said Baramulla constituency recorded 59 percent voter turnout, the second highest polling percentage since 1967.

The seat recorded, 37.41 per cent voting in 2019, 38.96 in 2014, 41.84 in 2009, 35.65 in 2004, 27.79 in 1999, 41.49 in 1998, 46.65 in 1996, 5.48 in 1989, 61 in 1984, 56.02 in 1980, 56.97 in 1977, 50.62 in 1971, and 51.35 in 1967.

Besides the highest voter turnout, Pole said the constituency created another record by having a zero-violence polling day.

Earlier on May 13, Srinagar Parliament seat saw over 38 per cent voter turnout, the highest it recorded in the last six Lok Sabha elections.

National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, People's Conference president Sajad Lone and jailed head of the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid are locked in a triangular contest in Baramulla.

Significantly, for the first time in three decades, the twin towns of Sopore and Baramulla – the separatist bastions that always heeded election boycotts in the past – kept a date with polling, registering a turnout of 44.36 per cent and 48.2 per cent respectively.

Earlier in the day, voters in large numbers were seen outside polling stations in Budgam district’s Soibugh area, the home town of Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.

Reports of families of active militant commanders casting their votes in several areas were also received.

A local news gathering agency KNO quoting Abdul Qayoom Lone, father of Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Abid Qayoom, a resident of Ussan, Pattan in Baramulla district, said that he and his family cast their votes for change and development.

Senior Lone appealed to his son to shun violence and join the mainstream.

Rouf Ahmed, brother of Omar, who is said to be a top commander of LeT, also appealed to his brother to surrender after casting his vote.

“Let my brother join the mainstream and avoid the path he chose," he said and asked youth to come and vote for their rights and for change for themselves and their families.

The voters saw the polling in the first major election in the Union Territory following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 as an opportunity to express their opinions on the developments in the region over the past five years.

“The situation has improved and fear faded and that is a good omen for democracy. The people mostly did not vote in the past due to the threat to their lives,” said Ghulam Rasool Dar, a sexagenarian voter in Budgam.

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Published 20 May 2024, 14:48 IST

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