A dismal voter turnout of 1.5 per cent was recorded till 12 noon in the third and final phase of polling in the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency on Monday while nearly 30 per cent had voted in the Ladakh seat by noon.
Hardly any voters approached the polling stations in Shopian, Wachi, Rajpora, Pulwama and Tral segments of Anantnag. Militants added to the tension by hurling a grenade at the Rohmoo polling station which exploded but without causing any damage. But it sparked fear among those who may have ventured out to vote.A mysterious explosion also occurred outside a polling station in Tral. Police said they were investigating.
The maximum voting in Anantnag till noon was recorded in Shopian (3.1 per cent), followed by Pampore (2.6), Wachi (1.4), Rajpora (0.9), Tral (0.5) and Pulwama (0.4 per cent).Officials said the overall voter turnout in Ladakh and Anantnag constituencies till 12 noon was 8.4 per cent.This was because of the brisk 29.5 per cent voting in Ladakh constituency.There are 522,530 voters in the districts of Shopian and Pulwama who are eligible to vote on Monday as part of the Anantnag constituency while the total electorate is 174,618 in Ladakh, spread over the two districts of Leh and Kargil.
Most polling stations in Shopian and Pulwama wore a deserted look.Separatists have called for an election boycott and a shutdown in Shopian and Pulwama districts.Although polling began at the same time in both the Lok Sabha seats, it will end at 4 p.m. in Anantnag and 6 p.m. in Ladakh.There are 18 candidates in the race in Anantnag but the main contest is between Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ghulam Ahmad Mir of Congress and Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference.
In the hilly Shahdab Karewa village of Shopian, voters came out in good numbers.In Ladakh, the contest is four-cornered involving Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rigzin Spalbar of the Congress and two independents, Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Hussain.
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