Jammu: Amid the gloomy picture of just about 10% voter turnout in Kashmir comes the report that would gladen democratic people of the country. Over 64% voter turnout of Kashmiri Pandits and non-Kashmiri Indians, whom the Kashmir-specific law (Article 35A) regards as “migrants” was recorded in the second phase of the three-phased elections in Anantnag parliamentary constituency on Monday.
Unhappy over the “cumbersome” voter registration process adopted for them by the Election Commission, the community members demanded scrapping of M-forms. They alleged that the forms deny and discourage them from voting.
“Over 64% votes (by Kashmiri ‘migrants’) were polled today. As many as 1,784 such voters cast their votes in the second phase, out of a total of 2,779 registered voters, after completing the required formalities,” Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) for Migrants, Pankaj Anand said.
Though the official admitted that there were problems while preparing the electoral roll, Anand said hectic efforts were made to ensure no voter was left out. “There were only a few such cases due to wrong filling of Form M. Some of these forms did not have names of polling stations. Some names did not match with the records,” he said.
The official said 59% Kashmiri Pandits and other “migrants” voted at 21 polling stations established across Jammu district for the Anantnag parliamentary seat.
The polling in the southern Kashmir constituency is being held in three phases. The constituency is spread over four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama, covering 16 assembly segments.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and State Congress chief GA Mir are among the 18 candidates whose fate have been decided from the constituency, which has a large number of registered migrant voters.
The Election Commission had set up 21 special polling stations for Kashmiri migrant voters in Jammu, one in Udhampur and four in Delhi.
Meanwhile, dozens of Kashmiri Pandits protested outside a polling station at Jagati camp on the outskirts of the city as they complained their names were missing from the voters list.