Shopian: Amid internet shutdown, two DDC constituencies in Shopian’s Keller belt witnessed 42.58 polling percent where 13 candidates were in fray. The percentage has been a sort of record as last year the district witnessed just about two percent polling in parliamentary elections which were held before abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A.
For by-election to vacant panchayat seats, voting percentage was an overwhelming 80.69 percent. Of the 373 voters registered, 301 votes were cast in Keller. For Sarpanch elections, 64.46 polling was recorded in three wards having a total 3,883 voters, of whom 2,503 cast their votes. A total of 13 candidates for Sarpanch and 55 candidates for Panch seats were contesting.
A woman in her 50s said she cast her vote for better electricity and roads. “We have a mud house and no business or job for my four unemployed illiterate sons. I cast my vote in the hope that it will help us build a house,” she said.
Moshward polling booth at the local government school had two polling stations having 912 registered voters. It is the native village of BJP’s Javid Qadri and also of Ali Muhammad Bakshi who is contesting on PAGD ticket.
Some three kilometers from Moshward, Vishro polling station witnessed several voters who came on foot from five kilometers away and elderly people who were brought on horses from Shalidar and Zumward, five kilometers from Vishov polling station.
“We voted for development. We have no road, no water supply in Zumward. We bring water by using horses from a canal four kilometer away,” said Mohammad Yasin Poswal.
Rafiq, another local from tribal area Shalidar, said that early morning he brought his 85-year-old uncle on horse to cast his vote.
In Nadpora area the polling was mild as compared to higher altitude areas like Gatti Pora and Manloo where voters came in droves.
A 45-year l-old male voter told Kashmir Reader that he cast his vote for vikas (development). “See, in our village nothing has been done by any politician so far. This time we voted for the candidate who promised development and restoration of Article 370 and 35 A,” he said.
A few meters away from him, another voter in his 70s said that he voted for the candidate who would end the harassment by government forces.
For many voters the sole reason to cast their vote was restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
In Shadab-Kareva and Manloo area which is the native village of Zaffar Manhas of Apni Party, there were people were waiting in lines for casting their vote. The guidelines of social distancing were ignored by the voters who crowded as if there was no coronavirus.