Baramulla voter turnout hits 4 decade high at 59%

Officials reported a 59 percent turnout in Baramulla today, determining the future of National Conference candidate Omar Abdullah, Peoples Conference candidate Sajjad Lone, jailed AIP leader Abdul Rashid Sheikh alias Engineer Rashid, and others.

| Updated: 21 May, 2024 3:04 pm IST
The Chief Electoral Officer held a press conference in Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Surpassing all previous records of the last forty years, a significant number of voters lined up at Polling Stations throughout the Baramulla constituency to cast their ballots. Officials reported a 59 per cent turnout in Baramulla today, determining the future of National Conference candidate Omar Abdullah, Peoples Conference candidate Sajjad Lone, jailed AIP leader Abdul Rashid Sheikh alias Engineer Rashid, and others.

The last highest turnout in the constituency was recorded in 1984 at 61.09 per cent. Official data indicates the constituency had a 37.41 per cent turnout in 2019, 38.96 per cent in 2014, 41.84 per cent in 2009, 35.65 per cent in 2004, 27.79 per cent in 1999, 41.49 per cent in 1998, 46.65 per cent in 1996, no elections in 1991, 5.48 per cent in 1989, 61.09 per cent in 1984, 56.02 per cent in 1980, 56.97 per cent in 1977, 50.62 per cent in 1971, and 51.35 per cent in 1967.

Aggressive campaigning by NC, PC, and AIP led to a higher voter turnout in the Baramulla constituency. While the polling proceeded smoothly overall, there were a few sporadic incidents reported from the Pattan area.

READ MORE : Record turnout marks Srinagar Lok Sabha elections

Calling the turnout ‘historic,’ Chief Electoral Officer Pandurang Kondbharao Pole said, “The people of Baramulla have made history today with the highest poll percentage ever recorded for this Parliamentary seat and a violence-free election day.”

“The constituency had 2,103 Polling Stations, all monitored by CCTV to ensure smooth conduct,” said Pole. “Despite some complaints of slow polling, investigations revealed that the polling staff were working diligently and effectively,” he added, noting that no significant incidents or violence were reported.

The Handwara assembly segment recorded the highest polling percentage at 67.5 per cent, while the Gurez Assembly segment saw the lowest turnout.

The family of Awami Ittehad Party patron Abdul Rashid Sheikh, alias Er. Rashid, voted at Government Higher Secondary School Sanzipora Mawer Handwara. Peoples’ Conference Chairperson Sajad Gani Lone cast his vote at Government Boys Higher Secondary School Handwara, and Peoples’ Democratic Party candidate Fayaz Ahmad Mir voted in Main Town Kupwara.

NC vice president Omar Abdullah told reporters after visiting Polling Stations in Budgam that the security situation in Kashmir is not normal. “We have been saying that the situation in Kashmir is not normal. The militants have repeatedly shown they can attack whenever they want. Unfortunately, a politician, an ex-sarpanch of the BJP, lost his life and two tourists were injured in terrorist attacks,” he said, referring to Saturday’s twin attacks in Shopian and Anantnag.

Regarding the BJP’s claims that the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved, Abdullah said the party should not make such claims, attributing any improvement to the people of the region.

READ MORE : KASHMIR VOTES TODAY: Mufti’s candidate Waheed Parra says Pulwama will set new trend

Sajjad Lone, after casting his vote in Handwara this morning, told reporters that his party aims to abolish the practice of lodging FIRs and police verification if elected. “If voted to power, I promise to eliminate the FIR and police verification culture that is affecting our youth,” he said, adding that this issue is a primary objective of his party.

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