"Just 15 polling stations have been categorized as normal in Srinagar district and 40 in Badgam district. No polling station has been categorized as normal in Ganderbal district."
Srinagar, April 29 - Retaining Srinagar is a tough call for the 78-year old National Conference patron and thrice Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah. He has never lost an election so far, but winning the elections this time is not a foregone conclusion for him.

Abdullah is seeking re-election from this Lok Sabha seat that is spread over three districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal and Badgam with 1.23 million voters. The Abdullahs, who belong to Srinagar district, have held sway over the people in Kashmir for over 50 years. Srinagar has been a strong bastion of the NC and the Abdullahs.

The constituency has been represented in the past by Abdullah's mother, Begum Akbar Jahan. His son and state chief minister, Omar Abdullah has represented Srinagar in the Lok Sabha thrice.

The main electoral plank of the NC has been targeting BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, warning people not to vote for PDP which the NC alleges has an undeclared understanding with the NDA and preservation of article 370.

Traditional political strategy of mainstream politicians in Kashmir has been to understate their pro-Indian credentials and tickle separatist sentiments to win votes during elections.

Breaking away from that tradition, PDP patron and former state chief minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has been publicly saying he is fighting for a better dispensation for Jammu and Kashmir within the country's constitution.

Sayeed praises former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in rallies and public meetings and claims to fight for creating a wider space for debate and discourse in the state's politics.

There are 14 candidates in fray in this Lok Sabha seat, but the main contest is going to be between Farooq Abdullah and Tariq Hamid Karra of the regional Peoples Democratic Party -.

The PDP has built inroads into areas once believed to be impregnable because of NC's influence. What has been worrying the PDP leaders who claim to depend largely on anti-incumbency factor, unemployment, corruption and mis-governance, is the separatist appeal to voters to boycott the polls in this Lok Sabha seat.

The recent terror attacks, killings of three village headmen and a poll official in south Kashmir's Anantnag constituency is likely to have a dampening effect on the voter turnout in Srinagar.

In 1999 Lok Sabha elections just 11.93 percent votes were polled here, in 2004 the voting percentage rose to 18.57 percent while it went up to 25.55 percent during 2009 elections.

Of the eight assembly segments in Srinagar district including Amira Kadal, Hazratbal, Zadibal, Eidgah, Khanyar, Habba Kadal, Sonawar and Batamaloo, voting has always been very low since the outbreak of separatist violence in Kashmir in early 1990s.

Separatist boycott calls have in fact had little effect in villages and suburbs, although towns and cities in the Valley have been adversely impacted by these calls.

In the five assembly segments of Chadoora, Badgam, Beerwah, Khan Sahib and Charar-e-Sharief in Badgam district, voter turnout is going to be better than Srinagar district.

In the two assembly segments of Ganderbal and Kangan in Ganderbal district, voter turnout is likely to be impacted by separatist boycott call. But voter turnout is expected to be respectable in villages.

The election commission has given fresh instructions to district authorities to ensure sufficient security for the polling stations so that the polls are not disturbed April 30 when the constituency goes to vote.

As many as 1,546 polling stations are being set up at 968 places in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. Of these 18 are being set up for Kashmiri Hindu migrants.

Given security considerations, just 55 polling stations in this Lok Sabha seat have been declared as normal while all others have been categorized as hyper sensitive and sensitive.

Just 15 polling stations have been categorized as normal in Srinagar district and 40 in Badgam district. No polling station has been categorized as normal in Ganderbal district.

Around 50 companies of central armed forces and over 10,000 police personnel are being deployed to secure polling stations and prevent guerrillas from thwarting the voting process in this Lok Sabha seat.


comments powered by Disqus
Read more on:
 INDIA (136901 views)
 KASHMIR (75531 views)
 BIHAR (52101 views)
 RESERVATION (28710 views)
 SRINAGAR (26581 views)
 IMPAC (19826 views)
 CHIEF MINISTER (18401 views)
 JAMMU AND KASHMIR (18241 views)
 JAMMU (17621 views)
 LOK SABHA (12331 views)
 2009 (11041 views)
 HINDU (9561 views)
 VILLAGE (8421 views)
 OMAR ABDULLAH (7592 views)
 ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE (6123 views)
 1990 (6121 views)
 MMA (6051 views)
 OMAR (5541 views)
 CONSTITUTION (5591 views)
 VOTER TURNOUT (4953 views)
 VAJPAYEE (4772 views)
 ANANTNAG (4749 views)
 GUERRILLA (4401 views)
 FAROOQ ABDULLAH (4320 views)
 ABDULLAH (4281 views)
 BOYCOTT (4231 views)
 OREGON (3811 views)
 TERROR ATTACK (3701 views)
 MUHAMMAD (3701 views)
 NATIONAL CONFERENCE (3550 views)
 

PERMALINK

http://www.nerve.in/news:2535002370503
You can quote the permanent link above for a direct link to the story. We do not archive or expire our news stories.


STORY OPTIONS
  Email this story to a friend
  XML feed for India


 
COPYRIGHTS INFORMATION
All rights reserved for news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.
Contact Nerve Staff for any feedback, corrections and omissions in news stories.
 

All rights reserved for the news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.