TRAL: While all the leading pro-India politicians of Tral managed to exercise their franchise in a heavy security cover, their families preferred to stay away from the polls.
So much so People’s Democratic Party’s sitting MLA from Tral Mushtaq Ahmad Shah’s family didn’t turn up at the polling station Tral Bala 51, where an infuriated Shah, who didn’t have anyone for company except his security escort, cast his vote.
“I have only my wife at home who may come to vote after some time. People are staying away from the polls because of the fear created by National Conference after it orchestrated killings of three people here,” Shah told Kashmir Reader soon after casting his vote. Shah had come to exercise his franchise two and half hours after polling started. However, sources said that Shah’s wife and daughters didn’t turn up to vote.
Shah wasn’t the only high profile politician whose family members didn’t vote. Tral’s most sought after politician and former Cabinet minister Ali Mohammad Naik did cast his vote, but his family seemed least interested.
Kashmir Reader visited the octogenarian leader’s home where Naik was sitting in his lawn, jotting something and occasionally making and receiving phone calls, majority of them concerning the ongoing polls. Naik’s family didn’t give any impression of itching to exercise their franchise.
“Naik Sahab is a senior politician and hardcore NC man. He was keen to vote, but we preferred to stay away, because it is our personal choice,” a member of Naik’s family told Kashmir Reader.
The village Batagund where a Congress Sarpanch and his son were killed by suspected militants on Monday night had a similar story of a politician’s family staying away from the ballot to tell.
The senior Congress party member from the area and Congress in-charge Tral, Ghulam Mohammad Mir appeared to be anxious to vote, but not before making sure he got a security clearance. He went to vote—only one in Batagund and adjoining villages like Gulshanpora, late afternoon—but his family chose to stay indoors.
“I will vote, but I can’t ask anyone else to vote, even not my family members,” said Mir who heads a family of four.