Anantnag: Despite a decent 38 percent polling in one of the four wards for which voting was held in Kokernag municipality of Anantnag district, the overall poll percentage remained a dismal 7 percent at the end of the day.
The other three wards recorded a paltry 0.75 percent, 0.77 percent, and 1.83 percent voter turnout. Kokernag municipality has a total of 13 wards but polling was held for only four of them as some candidates won uncontested and in some wards there were no contestants.
This phenomenon was also responsible for the fact that no polling was held in Kulgam and Devsar municipalities in Kulgam district and in Achabal and Qazigund municipalities in Anantnag district. All the four local bodies were scheduled to go for polls today.
In Kokernag, the polling was held for Ward-5, Wagay Mohalla; Ward-13, Hangalgund; Ward-9, Telipora; and Ward-11, Wani Mohalla.
The polling took place at four polling stations, all located inside the local higher secondary school. The polling commenced at 7am.
Authorities had put drone surveillance cameras into service – which kept hovering over the area – to keep an eye on the scenario. Hundreds of forces’ personnel manned the polling stations as well as all roads leading to the higher secondary school.
The forces did not even allow media persons to reach the spot for the first two hours of polling.
A boycott call was extended by militants for the polls while the two major mainstream political parties of Kashmir, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also refrained from participating in the polls. The effect of the boycott call was evident as people came out in trickles.
None of the voters in the area talked to any media person present in the area.
At the end of the day, the maximum number of votes was cast in Ward-5, Wagay Mohalla, where 106 voters turned up out of the 276 registered voters.
The other three wards had a very dismal turnout with 7 votes out of 904 cast in Ward-13, 2 out of 264 in Ward-9, and 4 out of 218 in Ward-11. The voting concluded at 4pm. There was no report of any violence anywhere in the region by the time this story was filed.