In what may be called the strict measures by Election Commission to ensure free and fair polls, Union Health Minister and former State Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had to face a piquant situation when Presiding Officer at a polling booth here stopped him from casting his vote in Jammu parliamentary constituency following his failure to produce any document regarding his identity proof.
Later, he was allowed to cast vote after a local Congress leader at the polling station intervened and told presiding officer Maharaj Krishan that he personally knew Azad and hence he be allowed to exercise his right to franchise.
Trouble erupted as Azad reached the polling booth carrying a voter slip which did not carry his photograph. On being asked by the presiding officer about any other document as proof of his identity, he failed to respond.
Significantly, Azad is a Congress nominee in Udhampur parliamentary constituency which is going to polls on April 17.
The Election Commission has this time issued photo ID voter slips to the electorates. However, in case of voters whose voter slips do not carry photograph, they are supposed to carry other photo IDs to establish their identity.
Meanwhile, brisk polling was in progress at all places in Jammu parliamentary constituency. No untoward incident was reported from any place.