Polling 1.14% in Homeshalibugh, 1.72% in Kulgam assembly segments
SRINAGAR: Almost 90 percent of the electorate in Kulgam district did not vote in the Lok Sabha elections held on Monday, the total polling percentage at the end of the day being 10.3 percent (35,524 votes).
Talking to reporters at the end of the polling day, Chief Election Officer J&K Shailendra Kumar said that out of more than 3.3 lakh voters, only about 35 thousand came out to vote in Kulgam district, which is spread over four state assembly segments.
The polling percentage was the highest in Noorabad and Devsar assembly segments, at 20.58 and 16.84, respectively. In Homshalibugh and Kulgam segments, only 1.14 percent and 1.72 percent voting, respectively, was recorded after nine hours of polling time.
“It was a peaceful day,” said Kumar. He feigned ignorance when a reporter asked him about the incidents of stone-pelting that occurred at many polling stations at Kulgam.
Kulgam district’s 3.3 lakh voters included 1.79 lakh males and 1.64 females. For today’s election, 433 polling stations had been established in the district.
Now Shopian and Pulwama districts are left for polling to be held for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. Voting will be held in both districts on May 6. The active insurgency in south Kashmir prompted the Election Commission to hold polling for the one Lok Sabha seat here in three separate instalments. It also reduced voting time by two hours.
The low voter turnout in Anantnag and Kulgam, which voted in large numbers in previous elections, is being seen as trouble for the PDP. The south Kashmir region has been the PDP’s stronghold in the past but now the contest is more open, with the NC and the Congress also having equal chances of winning. The Sajjad-Lone led Peoples Conference (PC) and Er Rasheed’s party, both influential in north Kashmir, are not seen as even close to a contest in south Kashmir.