Independent , Honest and Dignified Journalism

Srinagar PC records highest poll percentage of 37.99 in many decades, Kangan AC tops with 58.80 %

6700 migrant voters exercise their voting right

SRINAGAR, MAY 13: The fourth phase of voting for General Elections to 18th Lok Sabha concluded peacefully here today with a remarkable 37.99 % voting in the districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Pulwama and Budgam and Shopian partly.

“The corresponding percentage for last Lok Sabha election in 2019 was 14.43 percent. This time, there was no boycott and no polling station recorded zero percent or nil voting which speaks of people’s firm trust in the democratic system as imperative for their overall welfare”, maintained Chief Election Officer, Pandurang K Pole while presenting the details on today’s polling in the fourth phase of ongoing Lok Sabha Polls.

The CEO attributed the great success behind this hugely increased polling percentage to improved security and law and order environment in last 4-5 years, mobilization by 24 candidates and political parties, election awareness executed by Deputy Commissioners and CEO office through SVEEP activities and more importantly voters strong belief that it is the ballot which can lead to sustainable development (Aman, Tarraki and Khushhali).

The polling took place in 2,135 polling stations across the Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency with live webcasting at all the polling stations with voting started at 7 am across the PC with long queues of enthusiastic voters waiting to cast their votes.

Demonstrating the spirit of democracy, the voters of all the districts showed up in record numbers to cast their votes in a significant show of their faith in the election process. Since beginning of the poll at 7.00 am, the voters were seen queuing up at many polling stations across the all 5 districts. Elderly, ladies and youths were seen enthusiastically exercising their right to vote in a peaceful environment.

The Chief Electoral Officer monitored the progress of voting across the Parliamentary Constituency from the Union Territory-level Command and Control Center established at ICCC- HMT, Bemina and CEO Office, Srinagar. It is pertinent to mention here that the Command and Control center has been working 24×7 at Srinagar as well as Jammu since 16 March to ensure free, fair and inducement-free elections.

After two hours of polling, 5.16% voting was recorded in the constituency at 09:00 am, 15.05% at 11.00 am, 23.80% at 01:00 pm and 30.23% voting was recorded at 3:00 pm. By 5:00 pm, 36.10% polling was recorded in the constituency. Assembly segment wise highest poll percentage was observed in Kangan with 58.80 % while Habbakadal registered lowest polling of 14.05 %.

The gross voter turnout recorded in past few elections in the Srinagar PC, as given by the CEO office, was 14.43 % in 2019, 25.86 % in 2019, 25.55  in 2009, 18.57 % in 2004, 11.93 % in 1999, 30.06 % in 1998, 40.94 % in 1996, no election was held in 1991 due to turmoil and 1989 remained uncontested.

The highest ever poll percentage since the eruption of terrorism in Kashmir was recorded in year 1996 with 40.94 %. But in 1996 the geographical boundary of Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency was smaller (only Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts), however, now with addition of districts and increase in size of PC we can say it is the highest for Srinagar PC in today’s size, added the CEO.

At the time of culmination of polling, Assembly Segment wise tentative voter turnout in 2-Srinagar PC was Kangan 58.80 %, Ganderbal 49.48 %, Hazaratbal 28.28 %, Khanyar 24.24 %, Habbakadal 14.05 %, Lal Chowk 27.33 %, Channapora 22.97 %, Zadibal 29.41 %, Eidgah 26.81 %, Central Shalteng 26.43 %, Khansahib 50.35 %, Charar-e-Sharib 56.00 %, Chadoora 49.10 %, Pampore 38.01 %, Tral 40.29 %, Pulwama 43.39 %, Rajpora 45.79 %, Shopian 47.88 %. Also, the total migrant special PS polling was 39.09 % besides receiving 2832 postal votes (absentee, VFC and receive ETPBMS till date).

These figures against each Assembly Segment are tentative as postal votes polled during home voting, through EDC, Postal ballot, ETPBs and migrant votes polled at special polling stations are not added.

More than 8,500 polling staff has performed poll duty and actual polling continued till 6.00 pm or conclusion of the polling, whichever is later. At every polling station, basic minimum facilities of water, electricity, toilet, ramp, verandah/ waiting room etc were made. The wheelchairs and volunteers were provided as and when required. In order to ensure inclusive voting, 20 number of polling booths managed by women (also called as pink polling stations), 18 polling booths managed by specially abled persons and 17 polling stations managed by youths were established. Also to spread the message about environmental concerns, 21 green polling stations were set up. To facilitate voter identification, apart from EPIC card, other documents such as Adhar card, Bank Passbooks, Driving License, PAN Card, Govt employee ID card etc documents were also allowed as per Election Commission of India’s directions. Media facilitation was done through special passes for more than 600 journalists.

The democratic spirit has won over any kind of apprehension in the mind of the average Kashmiri voter. As per guidance of CEC, Rajiv Kumar, the meticulous planning and execution of SVEEP activities was done which ultimately resulted in a significant increase in the voter turnout. Every nukkad natak, street play, painting competition and rally has translated into an increase overall voter turnout. The spirit of democracy has triumphed and not even a single incident of stone pelting has been reported.

The enthusiasm among the political parties, who are an important stakeholder in the democratic process can be gauged from the fact that a record number of applications regarding various permissions had been received on the Suvidha portal. The General Elections to Lok Sabha in PC- SRINAGAR have been violence free and has witnessed historic participation from the voters of Kashmir.

There were 17140 Kashmiri migrants electors in Srinagar who opted for voting at 26 Special Polling Stations established at Jammu (21), Udhampur (01) and Delhi (04). At these 26 special polling stations, there was voter turnout of 39.09 %. A total of 6700 migrant voters exercised their voting right, out of which, 213 voted at Delhi, 160 at Udhampur and 6327 exercised their voting right at Jammu. It is also for the first time that the migrant community has turned for vote in such a large numbers.

The Chief Electoral Officer extended gratitude to all the voters for their historic participation in the festival of democracy. He also appreciated the Polling personnel including security staff, police officers, ARO, RO and District Election Officers for their contribution in making the ongoing elections successful.