M A I N   N E W S

Srinagar wears true colours of democracy
Voter turnout goes up by 13 pc
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Kashmiri women voters wait in long queues at a polling station in Srinagar for the Municipal Corporation elections on Tuesday.
Kashmiri women voters wait in long queues at a polling station in Srinagar for the Municipal Corporation elections on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Amin War

Srinagar, February 1
It’s rare to see Srinagar’s urban voters fighting for a chance to cast their ballot. But this day brought several unusual instances in its fold with the electorate shaking off its inertia and annoyance to vote for polls to 68 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Of these, 23 were reserved for women, with 50 candidates in the fray.

Elections were peaceful, barring stray incidents like that of stone pelting at a booth in Maisuma, the city heart. Last night a polling officer was injured when militants hurled a grenade at Batmaloo High School booth.

Despite threat perception, the electorate that barely yielded 5.2 per cent turnout in the last parliamentary elections today voted 18 per cent. They abused political agents, jumped queues, withstood chill – assuming the role of a “maturing” electorate. While a shop remained closed, the voters’ response was mixed in North, South, East and Hazratbal police zones, carved for the purpose of polls.


* At Ghasoo Malbagh in city outskirts, no polling booth had been set up till 11 am. Voters kept waiting for two hours.

* In New Theid area near Harwan, people complained that only Congress supporters were registered as voters. They prevented them from voting.

* Omar Abdullah caused a flutter in Sonwar when he cast his vote in Burn Hall School where he also studied.

* CM Mufti Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti did not vote in Srinagar, as they are registered voters in Brijbhera, Anantnag.

Though the day dawned in the shadow of fear with anti-election elements hurling stones at Maisuma booth, voters elsewhere were determined to participate. In Maisuma, Javed Ahmad Mir of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Forum led the anti-election rally. As angry separatists put tyres and quilts on fire to intimidate voters, the police resorted to a lathicharge. And though Maisuma, also home to the JKLF hardliner Yaseen Malik remained deserted, there were other dull pockets that wore the colour of democracy today.

East zone (Dalgate, Lal Chowk, Khanmot, Pathanchowk,) recorded the highest turnout of 22 per cent. South Zone, comprising Rajbagh, Hyderpora and Batmaloo polled 8.2 per cent. North Zone with Bemina, Parimpora and Lawayapora polled 15.41 per cent and Hazratbal zone (Zadibal, Lal Bazaar, Zoonimar, Bachpora) polled 14 per cent.

M.L. Kak adds from Jammu: Barring stray incidents of clashes among supporters of rival candidates leading to protest demonstrations in three areas, polling in 71 wards for the Jammu Municipal Corporation passed off peacefully today.

While 60 per cent of 399 polling stations witnessed heavy polling, ranging between 65 and 70 per cent in the remaining booths the voting percentage varied between 50 and 55.

In five polling stations, including those in Gandhi Nagar, Bakshi Nagar and Chinor, voting was disrupted for a brief period when voters complained of voting by proxy.


Byelection in JK on February 24
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
Byelection to fill a vacancy in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, caused due to the death of Leader of the opposition in the Upper House Abdul Qayoom, will be held on February 24.

Mr Qayoom, the National Conference member and former minister, passed away on January 1.

As per the schedule, the notification will be issued on February 7. Last date for filing the nomination will be on February 14 and the scrutiny, the following day. Last date for withdrawal of nominations is on February 17.

The commission had earlier announced bypoll on February 24 for a seat in the council vacated by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed after his election to the Assembly.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |