Polling, boycott went hand in hand in north Kashmir
Srinagar: On 9 am in morning all the polling stations in old town Baramulla wore a deserted look as no one came out to vote for any candidate on the day of parliament elections.
A polling station setup in Bunglow Bagh high school of old town had almost no voters for the whole day. No vote was polled in polling station number 86 of Bunglow Bagh til 5 pm. Total votes registered for the centre were 836.
Similarly in polling station number 84 in the same school, only one vote out of 333 was polled till 5 pm. The response of voters was same in Syed Kareem polling station and other booths in the old town Baramulla.
A polling station was set up in Girls middle school Khanpora where only seven votes were polled at around 1pm. “No voters come to cast their vote. We are sitting idle here with no work to do,” said a polling staff official.
In Palhallan, two polling stations were setup inside government high school which was locked from inside by the security personnel post clashes between the youth and security forces in the area.
“We have locked it from inside because we didn’t want them (youth) to barge inside the polling booth,” said a paramilitary trooper standing guard at the gate of the polling station. The votes polled at the polling station had not crossed two digit numbers at 4 pm.
However, people came out in good numbers to cast their votes, preferably for the first time since 2010 unrest. The voters hinted their support towards National Conference (NC) candidate.
“We got ignored for past years but now we want to use our vote so that the right candidates get elected. If we will side with boycott it will be advantageous for other incompetent candidate,” said an elderly in Pattan town.
In Uri segment of Baramulla district, long queues of voters were missing but people were coming out in small groups to cast their vote. In main town Uri, elderly were mostly casting their votes in favour of NC candidate while as youth were in support of Er Rashid.
“We support him because he always takes a front when it comes to Kashmir issue or identity of Kashmiris. He is the only leader who speaks truth in Assembly,” said Vikar Ahmad, a voter in Uri.
There was equal participation of male and female voters in Uri while as some Sikh families also participated in electoral process.