Wareham (Beerwah): As Beerwah and Aripanthan areas were witnessing an unprecedented poll boycott on Sunday, the neighbouring Warehem hamlet, the native village of the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Nazir Khan, narrated a different tale.
Perched between the two volatile areas, Warhem was experiencing brisk polling. The residents were hopeful that Khan would win from the constituency and change their fortunes forever.
“We are casting our vote in favour of Khan since he belongs to our village. He is our neighbour. We are not polling on any issue. We are voting for our neighbour who will change our fortunes and bring development,” the villagers said.
Stating that they remember the 2016 uprising and the bloodshed in Kashmir, another resident, Javaid Ahmad remarked, “But how will our vote matter. If we will not vote, the government will still get formed. So it is better to vote for our own leader”.
Shagufta, a 12th-class student, however, said she was voting for a change.
“We must vote to make politicians realise that the people deserve more than what they are being offered in terms of facilities, public works, education, amenities and medical assistance among others. If you want positive changes in society, you have to come out and vote for the right candidates” Shagufta said.
The residents said that the facility of polling station at a local school in the village, for the first time, made it easy for the voters.
“It is the first time, we have been given a separate polling station,” a resident said. “This happened first time to facilitate the polling. We used to have a shared polling station with Aripanthan residents. But, the residents there always protest and stone government officials and vehicles. So if the polling station was located there, none among would have gone there.”
By 10.30 am 214 (out of 820 total votes) and votes were cast in the polling booth.
“We are not sure that our votes will make any difference but still we hope that it might bring some change,” the residents said.