The overall turnout for the first phase of local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday was 56.7%, Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said. However, the voting percentage in the Kashmir Valley was only 8.2%.
The overall figure shot up because the Jammu region recorded 65% voting and Ladakh 62%, according to data on the chief electoral officer’s website.
The Joint Resistance Leadership had called for boycotting the polls. In Srinagar, the election was boycotted in uptown areas such the hills around Hyderpora, Humhama and Bagh-e-Mehtab, with little or no voting, Greater Kashmir reported. The polls were held for three wards of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
“When the basic demand of fulfilling people’s aspirations cannot be fulfilled there is no point voting,” Ghulam Mohammad Dar, a citizen from Peerbagh, told the daily.
However, moderate polling was witnessed in booths of Ward 27 of Bemina and in surrounding areas. At the Government Boys High School in Hamdania Colony, 643 votes were cast. “There are many civic works which need completion in this locality,” Ghulam Mohi ud Deen of Hamdania said.
In the districts of Kulgam and Anantnag in South Kashmir, there was no voting in at least 45 out of 49 wards. In Kokernag, only seven out of 904 votes were polled in Hangalgund ward number 13, and four out of 218 votes in WaniMohala ward number 11. But in Wagay Mohalla ward number five, 106 votes were cast out of 276.
Voting was abysmally low in northern Baramulla and Bandipora districts. In Baramulla, a total of 45 votes were polled in seven wards in the old town. In uptown Baramulla, the response was a tad better. At Sangri colony B, out of 933 votes, 149 were polled while in Sangri colony C, out of 995, 192 were polled, Greater Kashmir reported.
In Bandipora, 16 wards recorded just 3.38% voter turnout, as only 573 out of 16,953 people voted. Only candidates, polling agents and their close relatives came out to exercise their right to franchise.