Polls in Srinagar, Udhampur seats tomorrow; all preparations in place

kashmir, elections in kashmir, lok sabha polls
Security and polling staff arriving in a polling booth in Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon. Photography by Bhat Burhan for The Kashmir Walla

The high profile Udhampur and Srinagar parliamentary constituencies will go to polls tomorrow amid tight security arrangements.

The authorities said that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to conduct safe and secure elections. Voting is scheduled tomorrow in both the Lok Sabha constituencies from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Election authorities here also said that they are ready for the polling day. “All necessary preparations and security arrangements are in place for the smooth conduct of the elections,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shalinder Kumar said.

Sources said that in the light of the vulnerable situation, authorities will deploy several companies of police, paramilitary CRPF in Srinagar and other districts to ensure smooth and incident-free polls. Almost all the polling stations were taken over on Wednesday by the CRPF men, sources said.

Meanwhile police said that they are determined to make the ground safe for a successful poll and would, therefore, not spare any persons who try to disrupt the orderly conduct of the exercise.

Spanning over three districts-Srinagar, Budgam, and Ganderbal- the constituency has 18 assembly segments. 12,90,318 voters will cast their votes at 1,716 polling stations set up in the constituency.

It would be interesting whether the National Conference would show its dominance on the parliamentary seat, where the party lost only thrice in last over 50 years.

The twin constituencies Srinagar and Udampur have 2,981,083 registered electors including 1,543,571 males, 1,416,387 females, 21,056 service voters (20,780 males and 276 females) and 69 transgender voters.

Twelve candidates each are in fray for both Srinagar and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies. For smooth conduct of polls, 4,426 polling stations have been set up in the twin constituencies.

Srinagar constituency is spread over 15 Assembly segments comprising three districts of Central Kashmir-Ganderbal, Srinagar and Budgam with 1,295,304 registered voters including 1,294,560 General voters and 744 service voters.

Among the general voters, 667,252 are males and 627,282 female electors. Among service voters, 728 are males and 16 females, while there are 26 transgender voters.

The authorities have set up 1716 polling stations across the Parliamentary constituency to facilitate the polling.

The candidates in the fray are Sheikh Khalid Jehangir of Bharatiya Janata Party, Aga Syed Mohsin of J&K Peoples Democratic Party, Abdul Rashid Ganie of J&K National Panthers Party, Dr Farooq Abdullah of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, Showkat Hussain Khan of Janta Dal United, Abdul Khaliq Bhat of Shiv Sena, Irfan Raza Ansari of J&K People’’s Conference, Nazir Ahmad Lone of Rashtriya Jankranti Party, Nazir Ahmad Sofi of Manavadikar National Party, while Bilal Sultan, Sajjad Ahmad Dar, Abdul Rashid Banday are contesting as independent candidates.

In 2017 By-Elections, the electoral strength in the constituency was 1,261,395.

The By-Elections witnessed the victory of National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah by defeating his close rival Nazir Khan of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate by 10,766 votes. The seat was left vacant after Tariq Hamid Karra’s resignation.

In Udhampur Parliamentary constituency, those in fray are Tilak Raj Bhagat of Bhujan Samaj Party, Dr. Jitendra Singh of Bhartiya Janata Party, Vikramaditya Singh of Indian National Congress, Harsh Dev Singh of JKNPP, Ch. Lal Singh of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, Mohammad Ayub of Navrang Congress Party, Meenakshi of Shiv Sena and Bansi Lal, Rakesh Mudgal, Shaber Ahmad, Garib Singh and Firdous Ahmed all independents.

The constituency is spread over 17 Assembly segments comprising six districts of Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua.

The Udhampur parliamentary seat has 16, 85,779 electors of which 1,665,467 are registered as general voters and 20,312 as service voters.

Among the General voters, 876,319 are males and 789,105 females. The service voters include 20,052 males and 260 females, and 43 transgender electors.

For the smooth conduct of election in the PC, the Election Commission of India has established 2,710 polling stations.

In 2014 General Elections, the number of voters in the constituency was 14,69,072.

The last parliamentary election was won by Dr. Jitendra Singh of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) by defeating his nearest rival Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress. Singh secured 487,369 votes while Azad managed to bag 426,393 votes. (KNS)

Kashmir needs independent journalism…

…now, more than ever to give a voice to the voiceless. The press in Kashmir has operated under tremendous pressures of reporting from a conflict zone but since August 2019 we find ourselves in unchartered territory. The Kashmir Walla is among the oldest independent media outlets in Kashmir and has withstood successive lockdowns as well as attempts to suppress us, fighting back with authoritative ground reports based on facts.

We believe in making the powers that be accountable to their actions but to also hold the mirror to the society. We believe in covering all sides of the story and that empowerment in essence means the ability to make informed decisions. As such we have not allowed our journalism to be influenced by the pressures.

Despite the new and still unknown pressures, we are all the more committed to keep informing you of events and stories that matter. Our recent coverage of events has brought us an increased readership. However, the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis has affected our operational capabilities. We are facing an existential threat but only your support can help us withstand this and maintain our editorial independence.

We need your solidarity to keep our journalism going. Your contribution will empower us to keep you informed on stories that matter from Kashmir. Show your solidarity by joining our members community. Kashmir thanks you.