90 Polling booths draw Zero Votes in Srinagar

As many as 90 polling booths, mostly in downtown city, saw no voting in Thursday’s elections to the Srinagar Parliamentary seat, sources said.

Srinagar recorded zero turnout in as many as 50 polling booths.

The majority of these booths were located in Eidgah, Khanyar, Habba Kadal and Batmaloo, sources said.

Barring the Sonawar assembly segment, where former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar cast their votes, all other seven assembly seats recorded a single digit voting percentage with Eidgah at 3.3 per cent by the end of the polling. Sonawar recorded 12 per cent polling.

In the neighbouring Ganderbal district, which is a part of the Srinagar parliamentary seat, as many as 27 polling booths recorded no votes at the end of the day.

The same was the case with 13 booths of Budgam, which witnessed large scale violence in 2017 by-elections to Lok Sabha.

In Budgam area, Chadoora saw the lowest turnout at 9.2 per cent among the five assembly segments, while Chrar-e-Sharief recorded the highest turn out of 31.1 per cent.

The National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah, who is the sitting MP from this constituency, is again contesting from this seat for the 17th Lok Sabha.

PDP has fielded Aga Syed Mohsin, while Khalid Jahangir from BJP and Peoples Conference’s Irfan Ansari are also in the fray.

Thin attendance of voters was witnessed elsewhere in Srinagar district except Fakir-Gujri, a village of nomadic community located on a hillock where festive scenes were witnessed.

The situation was somehow different in uptown areas that include Nishat, Shalimar, Dara, Theed, Harwan and the picturesque Fakir Gujri area on the Srinagar outskirts where people, especially those from the nomadic community were lined up in long queues waiting for their turn to cast votes.

Barring Fakir Gujri, where people voted en-masse, thin voting was witnessed in Shalimar, Nishat, Harwan and Theed areas.  Those who voted asserted that they are voting for the protection of special status of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of article 370 and state subject law guaranteed in article 35 A.

At Fakir Gujri, men, women, elderly and many first time voters, were lined up, desperately waiting for their turn to cast votes. “This village is far from Srinagar but we have never boycotted and will never boycott in future too. Today, we have a solid reason to cast our votes as our identity and special status is under a massive threat,” Altaf Ahmed Bajran, a resident told a local news agency.

Gulzar Ahmed Famda, another resident said, that almost every voter of the area has come to vote today. “After all it is the question of our land. We will not allow outsiders to settle down here at any cost,” he said.