‘Proxies’ make for ‘handsome’ polling

‘Proxies’ make for ‘handsome’ polling
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SRINAGAR: Chaos prevailed at many polling stations of Pantha Chowk ward as several candidates objected to the presence of officer-bearers and workers of parties that have boycotted Urban Local Body (ULB) polls.
However, officials supervising the polling played down the chaos and highlighted the “handsome” polling recorded at the eight polling stations of Pantha Chowk ward where six candidates, including four Independents, are in the fray.
“Polling went on peacefully and without any disturbance. There was some conflict with the polling agents outside the polling booths. We have nothing to do with it,” said the presiding officer at one of the stations.
Earlier, an Independent candidate, Showkat Ahmad Bhat, along with his workers created ruckus at Pandrethan polling booth and objected to the presence of PDP’s zonal president Muhammad Shafi Mir inside polling stations in the area.
“How can PDP and NC office-bearers enter polling booths when they are for boycott of elections?” Bhat asked.
Following his protest, the security staff closed the doors of all polling stations and allowed voters in only after a three-tier scrutiny process.
“The PDP zonal president is attempting to indulge in bogus voting to help proxy candidate of his,” Bhat told Kashmir Reader. “The former MLA has fielded his relative in the ULB polls and they are now trying to steal our votes. We will not allow that to happen.”
According to Bhat, both PDP and NC have hoodwinked people by boycotting the elections and then fielding proxy candidates.
“Former MLAs and officer-bearers of these parties were seen campaigning for candidates. Where is the boycott then?” he asked.
Bhat said that Nazir Ahmad was the NC’s proxy candidate.
Congress candidate from Pantha Chowk, Abid Bhat alias Abid Kashmiri, also accused PDP and NC of double standards and betrayal.
“We are enjoying good support in this area and we are confident of our win. But parties who are on boycott are indulging in illegal activities to support their proxies,” he alleged.
Muhammad Lateef Mir, who is contesting the polls as an Independent, admitted that he is a relative of former PDP legislator Ashraf Mir and also his close aide. But, according to him, he had resigned from the party before filing his papers in ULB polls.
“I am a well-known union leader and I enjoy good support here due to my social and philanthropist work. I want to bring the issue of unemployment and closure of quarries to the fore after my win. I have nothing to do with any party at this time,” he told Kashmir Reader.