Anantnag: Less than 13% turnout, near-boycott in Mufti townhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/anantnag-less-than-13-turnout-near-boycott-in-mufti-town-5691365/

Anantnag: Less than 13% turnout, near-boycott in Mufti town

The elections were conducted peacefully amid heavy security deployment barring a few minor incidents of stone-throwing protests at Anantnag, Bijbehara and Dooru.

Anantnag: Less than 13% turnout, near-boycott  in Mufti town
The Anantnag LS segment, which has 16 Assembly segments that will go to the polls in three phases, saw 12.86 per cent turnout Tuesday. (File)

The Anantnag Lok Sabha seat recorded 12.86 percent turnout even as most of the voters stayed away from polling booths in Bijbehara and Anantnag Assembly segments under the constituency. The turnout was better in Dooru, Pahalgam, Kokernag and Shangus Assembly segments.

The elections were conducted peacefully amid heavy security deployment barring a few minor incidents of stone-throwing protests at Anantnag, Bijbehara and Dooru.

Less than an hour before the scheduled end of polling, only 82 votes of the total 2,672 were cast at the three polling stations inside the municipal building at Bijbehara, the home town of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The poll percentage at these polling stations was higher than most of the other booths in Bijbehara and Anantnag Assembly segments.

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The Anantnag LS segment, which has 16 Assembly segments that will go to the polls in three phases, saw 12.86 per cent turnout Tuesday.

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Bijbehara and Anantnag recorded 2 and 3.5 per cent turnout on Tuesday, respectively.

The constituency saw 28.88 per cent turnout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

“Today, everyone is in mood of boycott,” said Ghulam Rasool, a resident of Bijbehara. “We can’t forget 2016… To vote today would mean to sell the blood of those martyrs.”

As compared to the near poll boycott in Bijbehara, the turnout was 18.4 per cent in Dooru, the home constituency of Congress candidate Ghulam Ahmad Mir. A steady stream of voters was seen trickling into the government school housing three polling stations even as youths were seen throwing stones at security personnel outside.

In Kokernag Assembly segment, while residents of villages mostly stayed away, people in the upper reaches of the constituency came out to vote, taking the voter turnout to 19.6 percent.

The highest turnout — 20.5 per cent — was recorded in Pahalgam segment.

“We have been voting every time there is an election,” said Ali Mohammad Dar, a local resident. “We are not against boycott but development of our area is also important.”