Polling tempo picks up in J&K

Srinagar: Enthusiastic voters lined up outside polling stations in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday as a weak winter sun peeped through the clouds.

Long queues of men and women appeared at polling stations in Kangan, Ganderbal, Sonawari and Gurez Assembly constituencies of the Kashmir Valley after polling started on a dull note in the morning because of the intense cold.

Election authorities have said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state where first two hours of polling passed off peacefully.

“Polling started peacefully at all the 1,787 polling stations spread over seven districts,” an official said.

Over a million voters will get to decide the political fate of 123 candidates who are in the fray in the first phase of the five-phase election.

In Banihal, Ramban, Kishtwar, Inderwal, Doda and Bhaderwah constituencies, brisk polling started after a dull start in the morning.

Reports from Leh, Kargil, Zanskar and Nubra constituencies of the Ladakh region said both Muslim and Buddhist voters turned out wearing traditional dresses to exercise their franchise.

Women outnumbered male voters at some polling stations of Ladakh region.

Enthusiasm was palpable in Lar town of Ganderbal assembly constituency as both the National Conference (NC) and the PDP candidates, Sheikh Ashfaq Jabbar and Qazi Muhammad Afzal, belong to this town.

In the polling station set up inside the block development office in Lar town, presiding officer Sheikh Bashir Ahmad had a tough time convincing two candidates’ supporters who had turned up in large numbers to remain peaceful and allow polling to proceed.




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