They demolish our homes and expect us to vote, say Gujjar Bakerwals as Achgoza in Pulwama records lowest turnout

FPK photo/Qayoom Khan.

The district’s Drubgam recorded zero percentage voting

Pulwama: In Achgoza block of Pulwama district in south Kashmir, one of the District Development Corporation (DDC) constituencies, nearly 6.70 per cent turnout was recorded on Saturday, which is the lowest in first phase of DDC elections.

Achgoza has three independent candidates participating in the elections and the block witnessed 1,367 out of 20,400 votes. The district’s Drubgam recorded zero percentage voting, Kamrazipora 1%, Tujan 1%, Qasbeyar and Kandiaglar A 19%, Kandiaglar 11%.

Locals told Free Press Kashmir that this was the first time that the area witnessed such low turnout, as the local Gujjar-Bakerwal are of the opinion that they will not vote for the government that “snatched their land”.

“On one hand they (government) seek votes from us and on the other, they snatch our basic rights by demolishing our houses,” said one of the local resident insisting that ‘voting this time is of no use’.

On Saturday, the first phase of DDC recorded voter percentage of 39.6976 % across different constituencies spread over all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir till 1:00 pm.

As per the figures given by the office of State Election Commissioner, in Kashmir Division, Kupwara recorded voting percentage of 34.10%, Bandipora 34.18%, Baramulla 25.58%, Ganderbal 36.26%, Srinagar 29.94%, Budgam 47.44%, Pulwama 6.08%, Shopian 22.37%, Kulgam 24.49% and Anantnag 26.65% till 01:00 pm.

Similarly, in Jammu division, Kishtwar recorded voting percentage of 27.1467%, Doda 50.6346%, Ramban 54.9191%, Reasi 56.17%, Udhampur 45.03%, Kathua 54.23%, Samba 59.29%, Jammu 48.96%, Rajouri 57.73% and Poonch 55.48% till 01:00 pm.

The State Election Commissioner K K Sharma earlier said that there are total 280 constituencies in JK (14 in each district) out of which voting will be conducted in 43 constituencies from 7 am to 2 pm in phase I.

He said that a total of 296 candidates are in the electoral fray including 207 male and 89 female candidates for DDC elections in Phase I.

Meanwhile, Internet services in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian were snapped in view of the DDC polls.


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