51.88 pc voting in Anantnag-Rajouri LS seat till 5 pm

Srinagar/Anantnag, May 25 (UNI) An estimated 51.88 percent of 18.36 lakh electorate have exercised their franchise in Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency till 5 pm on Saturday, officials said.

It was the highest turnout in comparison to 1996 when the constituency recorded 50.02 percent polling.

The voters, including first timers, braving the extreme hot weather conditions, have queued up enthusiastically outside the polling booths in their respective segments to exercise their franchise.

Among the voters, Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti who is also contesting from Anantnag-Rajouri Parliament Lok Sabha seat, exercised her vote at a polling booth at Bijbehara in Anantnag constituency.

The highest 66.09 percent votes were polled in Rajouri Segment followed by 65.47 percent in Nowshera, 65.34 percent in Thana Mandi, 64.91 percent in Budhal, 64.69 percent in Mendhar, 64.19 percent in Poonch Haveli and 62.65 percent in Surankot in Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha Constituency.

The lowest voter turnout of 31.99 percent was recorded in Kulgam and 31.21 percent in Anantnag segment.

Similarly, Anantnag West recorded 34.65 percent, D H Pora 55 percent, Devsar 41.50 percent, Dooru 45.21 percent, 50 percent in Kokernag, 55.63 percent in Pahalgam, 34.78 percent in Shangus, 41.94 percent in Srigufawara 42.40 percent in Surankot and 39.40 percent at Zainapora till 5 pm.

The voting in 2,338 polling stations across the Anantnag- Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.

The 2024 Lok Sabha election is the first major polls in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

As many as 20 candidates are contesting from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency and among them the prominent are Peoples Democratic Party, President Mahbooba Mufti, National Conference influential Gujjar leader Main Alta, Apni Party’s Zafar Manhas and Democratic Progress Azad Party Mohammad Saleem.

The BJP has not fielded any candidate from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, saying the party was in no hurry to see the lotus bloom in Kashmir. It has given tacit support to Apni Party’s Manhas, who is a Pahari.

The Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency comprises 18 assembly segments, spanning across the Kashmir and Jammu regions. The constituency is divided into 11 segments in Shopian, Kulgam, and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir, and 7 segments in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu, bridging the Pir Panjal range.

Before 2019, South Kashmir formed a single parliamentary constituency, while Rajouri and Poonch districts were part of the Jammu Lok Sabha seat. However, following delimitation, the Anantnag-Rajouri seat was created, combining 7 assembly segments from Jammu division and 11 from Kashmir division.

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