Times of Kashmir

| 19 Jul 2019
Breaking News

Less voting in Anantnag, security concerns in Pulwama, Shopian worrisome for Pol parties


Close door poll campaign not much effective, admit politicians

Srinagar, April 25 (KNO) : As the boycott prevailed upon ballot in the first phase of polls for the crucial and restive South Kashmir parliamentary polls in Anantnag, the development has left political parties and their candidates in a big worry forcing them to make fresh appeals to people to come out and vote.

Eyes on Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts of South Kashmir—going to polls in second and third phase of last leg of elections, political parties and their leaders being unable to hold road shows and open rallies, are not able to pull crowds and are instead confined to their loyalists to persuade them to vote again.

According to KNO news desk, the security concerns in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam where dealing with the new age militancy has been a biggest security challenge since 2016 post killing of the architect of new age militancy in Kashmir—Burhan Wani—have remained a major concern for the security forces.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah took to twitter soon after the news about mass boycott by the people of Anantnag district spread. He urged people to vote for the best candidate available Justice (Rtd) Hasnain Masoodi.

Sensing trouble, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also stated that “his dad’s workers will ensure her victory.” However, in the strong bastion of Muftis’—Bijbehara—40 polling stations witnessed zero voting, much to the disappointment of PDP candidate.

Expecting low turnout in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts as well, given the security situation in these pockets, NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah also asked people to vote if they want to keep the RSS and BJP at the bay. A senior politicians of NC, told KNO that if turnout of voting remains low in Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts as well, “it was a worry for all the political parties and not a good omen.”

The security agencies too are on tenterhooks to ensure incident free polling in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts where majority of encounters were witnessed since 2018.

Director General of Police J&K, Dilbagh Singh told a presser on Wednesday that all the phases of Lok Sabha elections were peaceful barring a few stone pelting incidents and he was hopeful that next two phases in South Kashmir will also witness peaceful polling.

What has caused a big dent to close door poll campaigning in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam is the killing of two militants in Bijbehara area of Anantnag on Thursday where four-day mourning and shutdown has started.

In the wake of shutdown in Anantnag, politicians have been asked restrict their poll campaigning to prevent any untoward incident, a top security official told KNO. (KNO

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