Brisk Polling At Pulwama Despite Past Incidents Of Attacks

The Kakpora Polling Station in Pulwama, South Kashmir, which has experienced grenade attacks, firing, and stone pelting during almost every past election in the last three decades, is now seeing active participation during the Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency polls.

The Kashmir Valley is holding its first major election after the abrogation of Article 370, and the enthusiasm is palpable on the ground. Many people from Srinagar to Pulwama, speaking to News24, mentioned that they are voting in favor of restoring Article 370. However, others highlighted issues like employment, high electricity bills, and day-to-day problems as reasons for casting their votes in support of their preferred candidate.

This election marks the first time in three decades that the Kashmir Valley is experiencing polls free from separatist boycotts and violence. The voter turnout is high, with even family members of terrorists seen casting their votes at various polling stations in South Kashmir.

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The head of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) Kashmir, Ghulam Qadir Wani, also voted in Pulwama, South Kashmir. This is a significant event as the head of an organization that previously called for poll boycotts in Jammu and Kashmir was observed casting his vote today. Additionally, the father of an active terrorist named Shahid Kuttay cast his vote at a polling booth in Chotipora, Shopian area in South Kashmir during the Srinagar Parliamentary constituency polling.

The polling percentage has significantly increased compared to past elections in the Kashmir Valley, reaching above 30% by 3 pm today. If the current momentum continues, it is likely to surpass 50%, marking a historic high in the past three decades for the Srinagar Parliamentary constituency.

Srinagar is witnessing a triangular contest between National Conference’s Aaga Ruhullah Mehdi, PDP’s Wahid-u-Rehman Para, and Apni Party’s candidate Mohammad Ashraf Mir.

Today’s polling marks the first phase in the Kashmir Valley, with a total of 17,47,810 voters enrolled in phase IV, including 8,75,938 male voters, 8,71,808 female voters, and 64 third-gender electorates.

Around 2,135 polling stations have been set up in the fourth phase across five districts: Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam, Ganderbal, and Shopian.

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