Baramulla LS Seat: 32 Percent of Kashmiri Pandit Voters Exercise Franchise

   

SRINAGAR: Thirty-two percent of Kashmiri migrant voters exercised their franchise in the Baramulla parliamentary constituency where voting was held in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election on Monday.

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Officials said there was a marked increase in polling by migrants this time as compared to 2019 and 2014.

“Thirty-two per cent polling was registered by Kashmiri migrants for the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency,” Relief Commissioner Arvind Karwani told PTI.

He said of the 20,333 eligible voters in the community, around 6,500 cast their votes.

Polling began at 7 am on 2,103 stations across the constituency, Karwani said, adding that the process was peaceful.

The migrant Kashmiri Pandits turned out in large numbers to vote earlier in the day despite the heat wave, expressing strong support for the creation of dedicated townships for their return and rehabilitation, as well as the restoration of temples in the valley.

However, some of them alleged that they returned without casting their votes as their names were missing from the electoral rolls.

Twenty-eight polling stations were set up for the migrants, including 21 in Jammu, four in Delhi and one in Udhampur, along with three auxiliary stations.

This election is the first major political event since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 and features 21 candidates, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah faces significant competition from Sajad Lone, leader of the People’s Conference and a former separatist-turned-politician. Fourteen Independent candidates, including two women, are also contesting from the traditionally high-turnout Baramulla constituency.

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