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Ground Report from J&K: people ignoring calls to boycott polls

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Wahid Bhat |SRINAGAR

The morning today couldn’t have been more enthusing and provoking to vote. The early morning breeze coupled with a relaxing dip in the day temperature set the tone for celebrating the festival of democracy today.

In the first phase of General Elections, two Parliamentary Constituencies of Baramulla and Jammu, spread over seven districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipore, Jammu, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch went to polls today.

As the polling started at 7 am in the morning, long queues of voters were witnessed eager to cast their votes. At many places, excitement among youth, particularly first time voters like Tanishi and Nisha at polling stations Mawakarora & Dhanger was visible who wanted to shape up their dreams by choosing candidates of their choices.

At many a place, women outnumbered men to exercise their franchise, thus amply displaying the deep roots democracy has taken among masses. Age or physical health couldn’t deter voters from exercising their choice. Baba Gyan Singh, 102 year old cast his vote at PS Mawakarora (Akhnoor) and so did Bansi Lal, 85 year old in Khour constituency.

Saraswati Devi, 95 years & Dhanno Devi, 100 years cast their votes at Govt. Higher Secondary School, Palanwala Chamb.

At many rural areas, many voters in their traditional attires had come to the polling booths to cast their votes.

The scene wasn’t different across Baramulla Parliamentary Constituency. The season coincidentally marks the beginning of spring with mesmerising almond bloom all around the Valley.

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Here too people were seen waiting in long queues at Ladoora, Sangrama, Wussan, Naidkhai, Malpora, Malangam, Matipora and other places for their turn to exercise their franchise. Enthusiastic voters thronged Government Middle School K P Payeen, Pattan and the first time voters were seen lined up at the polling booths brewing with enthusiasm.

Ground reported report from Baramulla polling station, where josh among the voters was seen high. From senior citizens to first time voters, citizens went to the polling booths to choose a candidate who would put an end to their woes.

The people are voting on the basis of development of the area and its a frontier sub-district where health care, employment as well as education are the key issues. The people are casting their vote in favour of their candidate, but the priority for the residents of Uri is the development of the area.

The people have complained in the recent past that their issues are being neglected by the centre as well as the state government. Reportedly, Uri has been in the highlight in the recent past due to the frequent terror attack many army men in this particular area lost their lives, It was noted that there was continuous cross-firing along with shelling in Uri district of Kashmir, due to which the locals have lost their lives.

While Talking with Ground Reports, the voters were satisfied with the security arrangements at the polling stations and some of the voters urged from the successive government to bring an end of the Jammu and Kashmir conflict.

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Meanwhile, a first-time voter from the district criticising the prevalent scenario in the state stated that the government should focus on the employment and education system for the youth.

The voters expressed satisfaction for the facilities made available at the polling booths for the smooth conduct of polls.

Democracy, as they say, is a government by debate and discussion and today’s enthusiasm amply reflected that.

Another voter said “I am voting for Engineer Rasheed,” who travelled from Dubai to cast her vote. “I have never heard a parliamentarian from Kashmir making any noise in Parliament about our issues.

In the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019, voting is underway in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.