Baramulla Create History With Record Voter Turnout In Phase 5 Of Lok Sabha Polls

New Delhi: History was created in the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency as it recorded a 59% voter turnout, the highest ever in the history of the constituency. Former terrorists, their families, and members of Jamaat-e-Islami cast their votes for peace and a better future.

Active terrorist Umar’s brother, Rauf Ahmed, showed great courage and love for democracy by voting from Ussu village, once a stronghold of separatists. In the last five elections, no more than 2-3% voting has taken place in this area, but today a huge turnout was recorded.

Appealing to his brother, Rauf urged him to end violence and return to the path of peace and progress. Not only Rauf and his family, but former terrorist Javed Ahmed Bhat and the former general secretary of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami organization also voted with hopes for a better and more beautiful future.

Rauf Ahmed also appealed to his brother to come back home and renounce violence. Highlighting the positive change in the Pattan region, once notorious for unrest, Rauf stressed the importance of participating in the democratic process to shape a better future for all.

In an exclusive interview with Zee News, Rauf said, “I voted on my own, was at the polling booth at 7 am. I came with my mother and brothers, and we all cast our votes. Today, people are voting in large numbers. Voting is the only way to get our rights. He added, “My brother has been an active Lashkar terrorist for the last six years. I appeal to him to return home. Our mother is ill and keeps crying for Umar. My brother did not even call at the time of my father’s death. I appeal to him to return home.”

Taking forward the story of change, former terrorist turned BJP worker Javed Ahmad Bhat shared his journey from a difficult past to a hopeful future. Casting his vote for the development of Jammu and Kashmir, Javed credited the initiatives of the central government after 2019 for the positive change in the region.

Javed said, “I voted for the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was not good, but after 2019 when the central government took control of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the situation has started improving in every aspect.” He said that his past as a terrorist is a nightmare, and after realizing his mistake, he left that madness and joined the mainstream BJP.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami, once considered the parent organization of Hizbul-Mujahideen, banned under UAPA due to its anti-India ideology, has now changed its stance and wants to participate in the elections when the ban is lifted. Today, former general secretary of Jamaat Ghulam Qadir Lone also cast his vote in Sopore town with the hope that they will participate in the electoral process once the ban is lifted.

Lone said, “We have been voting since 1969, but when the Muslim Mutahida Mahaz was formed, elections were rigged, and we lost faith in voting. But now it seems that the Indian government has understood that the situation in Kashmir has worsened due to the rigging of elections and it seems that this will not happen in the future. If the ban is lifted, not only I but the entire party will participate in the elections,” he said.

The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat created history with 59 per cent polling recorded. It’s the highest polling percentage in the history of the Baramulla parliamentary constituency. Chief Electoral Officer P.K. Pole said this in a press conference.

He said, “We have achieved this without any report of violence on the polling day. The people of Baramulla have created history today by registering the highest-ever polling percentage for a parliamentary seat, and the election day was free of violence,” the CEO said.

It was like a festive day in Baramulla today as huge crowds of voters from various backgrounds were seen at every polling station, united in their quest for progress and stability. Youth, men, and women voters gathered at polling stations, echoing aspirations for development, employment, and peace.

Shamim Ahmad, a voter who came to cast his vote at Shadipora polling station said, “We have voted for a better future and development. We believe that the vote is the power of a common man, and it can bring change at the grassroots level. We also want change, a better voice in Parliament that can help us in getting a better life.”

While the electoral process from Kupwara to Budgam moved ahead with vigour and purpose, the Baramulla parliamentary constituency elections reflected the enduring spirit of democracy within the Kashmir Valley. With a record voter turnout in the recent elections and high expectations of greater participation in the upcoming phases, the region has set a new chapter of progress and prosperity.

The huge turnout in north Kashmir proved to be a significant milestone in the democratic journey, with security measures in place to ensure a smooth and incident-free polling process. An exciting electoral contest is being witnessed among the key candidates. The Baramulla constituency is witnessing a triangular contest between former chief minister Omar Abdullah former minister Sajad Gani Lone and former MLA Engineer Rashid, who is contesting from Tihar jail. Both Omar and Sajad hailed the heavy voter turnout, expressing hope of a landslide victory.

Omar Abdullah said that it is a good thing that the youth are coming out of their homes to vote for their representatives. I have visited many polling stations so far; reports are good from other places as well, heavy voting is taking place, this is a good thing, and votes are being cast for NC. People are voting in large numbers; this is a good thing for a politician. He said that I am happy that many district presidents and senior members of Jamaat Islamia cast their votes after a long time. Omar Abdullah said that I request the Election Commission to lift the ban on Jamaat Islamia in Jammu and Kashmir so that they can participate in the upcoming assembly elections.

Sajjad Gani Lone said, “We have done our work, told people why we are contesting the elections, and now it is the turn of the people to decide their representatives, but I am confident that we will win.”

The fifth phase of polling covered four districts of Kashmir Valley, including Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, and parts of Budgam, including areas along the Line of Control in Kupwara and Baramulla districts.

Amid a bustling electoral scenario, 22 candidates were vying for victory, with a thrilling contest between former chief minister Omar Abdullah of the National Conference and People’s Conference president Sajjad Gani Lone and Engineer Rashid of the Awami Ittehad Party. Engineer Rashid’s presence despite being in jail gave a triangular dimension to the election battle, further increasing the political heat.