32 per cent voting in Udhampur, muted in Srinagar 

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By IANS on 18/04/2019.

32 per cent voting in Udhampur, muted in Srinagar 

Jammu/Srinagar, April 18:  Brisk voting was recorded on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, with over 32 per cent polling reported in the first five hours till 12 noon, but it was muted in the Srinagar constituency.

There were sporadic incidents of stone pelting at polling stations in Batmaloo area of Srinagar city and at three other places in Badgam district which too falls under the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.

A police constable was injured in the stone pelting by youths trying to disrupt the election process in Chrar-e-Sharief in Badgam district.

Security forces exercised maximum restraint to ensure that the polling process was not marred by violence, a police officer said.

While Srinagar district recorded the lowest voter turnout till noon, the turnout was comparatively better in Ganderbal and Badgam districts of the Srinagar seat.

Officials said 7 per cent voting was recorded in Srinagar till noon.

Most polling stations in the eight voting segments of Srinagar wore a deserted look although at some places voters came out in ones and twos to exercise their democratic right.

Voter turnout was better in Kangan, Ganderbal, Beerwah, Khansahib, Chrar-e-Sharief and Badgam voting segments although there was no visible enthusiasm among those who voted.

It is believed that the voter turnout in rural belts of the Srinagar seat is guided more by party affiliation rather than any eagerness to vote for change.

Securing polling stations, providing safe passage to voters and preventing militants from disrupting the elections are the main challenges faced in Srinagar constituency.

As a precaution, authorities have suspended mobile Internet facility in Srinagar, Badgam and Ganderbal districts.

Separatists have called for a boycott of the elections to highlight the Kashmir issue.

National Conference candidate Farooq Abdullah and his son and party Vice President Omar Abdullah voted at the Burnhall school polling station in Srinagar.

Abdullah is mainly challenged by Syed Aga Mohsin of the Peoples Democratic Party and Irfan Raza Ansari of the Peoples Conference while there are nine other candidates too.

In contrast to Srinagar, voter turnout was overwhelming in Udhampur Lok Sabha seat where over 32 per cent votes had been cast till 12 noon.

Long queues of voters were seen in Kathua, Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Udhampur and Kishtwar districts.

Jitendra Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking re-election from Udhampur. He is challenged mainly by Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress although there are 10 other candidates in the race.