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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Phase V: Baramulla PC breaks barriers with passion and purpose in peaceful poll, creates history with record 59 pc turnout

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STATE TIMES NEWS

BARAMULLA: The fifth phase of voting for General Elections to 18th Lok Sabha concluded peacefully here today with around 59 pc voting in the districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Budgam districts partly.
“Fractional correction is expected in the percentage figure, as at some of the Polling Stations voting continued even after 6.00 pm and many polling parties are yet to reach Reception Center.
This remarkable participation marks a new era of peace and civic engagement in these districts”, read a communique issued on Monday by the office of J&K Chief Electoral Officer, Pandurang K Pole.
This year’s elections were conducted without any boycott calls or intimidation, showcasing the voters’ unwavering belief in power of the ballot. Not a single polling station reported zero votes, which is a testament to the widespread enthusiasm and commitment to the democratic process. Corresponding percentage for last Lok Sabha election in 2019 was 37.41 per cent.

◀ This remarkable participation marks a new era of peace: CEO ▶

The highest ever poll percentage in Baramulla Parliamentary Constituency, since the eruption of terrorism in Kashmir was recorded in year 1996 with 46.65 per cent and in the history of Baramulla PC, highest poll percentage was (approx.) 61.09 per cent in year 1984. This year’s poll percentage is definitely second highest in democratic history of Baramulla PC and may likely to be highest, as final figures are yet to reach from remote areas and also two assembly segments- Budgam and Beerwah have been added in recent de-limitation, we can say it is highest for the Baramulla PC in today’s size.
The CEO has attributed this substantially increased record polling percentage to improved security – law and order environment in last 4-5 years, mobilization by 22 candidates and Political parties, election awareness done by Deputy Commissioners and CEO office through SVEEP activities and more importantly voters strong belief that it is the ballot which can lead to sustainable development (Aman, Tarraki aur Khush-hali).
The communique stated that the Polling took place in 2,103 polling stations across the Baramulla Parliamentary constituency with live webcasting at all the polling stations. Voting started at 7 a.m. across the PC with long queues of enthusiastic voters waiting to cast their votes. Demonstrating the spirit of democracy, the voters of Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Budgam showed up in record numbers to cast their votes in a significant show of faith in the Election Process. Since beginning of the poll at 7.00 AM, voters were seen standing in long queues at many polling stations across the all 4 districts. Elderlies, ladies, youths were seen enthusiastically exercising their right to vote in a peaceful environment.
Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir, Pandurang. K. Pole monitored the progress of voting in Phase -V across the Parliamentary Constituency from the Union Territory-level Command and Control Center established at ICCC- HMT, Bemina and CEO Office, Srinagar.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Command and Control center has been working 24 x 7 at Srinagar as well as Jammu since 16 March to ensure free, fair, and inducement-free elections. Actual Poll started at 7.00 AM and after two hours of polling, 7.70%(it was without Sopore Assembly segment, as the AERO couldn’t upload it in time, however it was included in next two hourly reporting time at 11.00 am) polling was recorded in the constituency at 09:00 am; at 11.00 AM 21.56 per cent of voting, at 01:00PM 35.08 per cent voting; at 3:00 PM 45.22 per cent voting was recorded. By 5:00 pm 54.57 per cent polling was recorded in the constituency. Assembly segment wise highest poll percentage was observed in Handwara with around 72.00 per cent and lowest in Guru with 40.82 per cent. At the time of closing of Polling, the Assembly Segment wise tentative voter turnout in Baramulla PC is as under:
These figures against each Assembly Segment are tentative as postal votes polled during home voting, through EDC, Postal ballot, ETPBs and Migrant votes polled at special polling stations are not added. Around 17,37,865 lakh electors were enrolled for casting their vote. More than 8,000 polling staff performed poll duty. Actual Poll continued till 6.00 pm and at few polling stations of Trehgam, till voting by last voter standing in queue.
At every polling station, basic minimum facilities of water, electricity, toilet, ramp, verandah/ waiting room etc were made. Even wheelchairs and volunteers were provided as and when required. Effort was made to give better experience to voter. In many polling station premises, it was seen that even small kids were accompanying their parents and playing in the premises. Polling stations were full of festivity.
During his visit to Jammu and Kashmir on 12- 13 March, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, had stressed to ensure inclusive election and effort was made ensure the same. Youths, especially first time voter, women, elderlies and specially abled persons were seen in large numbers at all PS and required basic facilities were provided at all polling stations. Additionally, in order to ensure inclusive voting, 18 number of polling booths managed by women (also called as pink polling stations),17 number of polling booths managed by specially abled persons and 18 number of polling stations managed by youths were established. Also to spread the message about environmental concerns, 18 green polling stations were set up.
To facilitate voter identification, apart from EPIC card, other documents such as Adhar card, Bank Passbooks, Driving License, PAN Card, Govt employee ID card etc documents were also allowed. Media facilitation was done through special passes for more than 600 journalists. The democratic spirit has won over any kind of apprehension in the mind of the average Kashmiri voter. Despite terror incidence of Pahalgam and Shopian, which happened just two days ago, voters seen coming in large numbers to vote. Anti-national elements failed to deter voters from exercising their constitutional rights. Meticulous planning and execution of SVEEP activities was done and it ultimately has resulted in a significant increase in the voter turnout. SMS Blast on mobile though telecom companies, hoarding, flex, nukkadnatak, street play, painting competition, various sports competitions, rally etc has translated into an increase overall voter turnout.
The spirit of democracy has triumphed and not even a single incident of stone pelting or any kind of violence has been reported on poll day. The enthusiasm among the political parties, who are an important stakeholder in the democratic process can be gauged from the fact that a record number of applications regarding various permissions have been received on the Suvidha portal and they were facilitated to hold public meetings/ rallies etc in all nook and corner of the constituency.
The campaigning in Baramulla PC have been violence free and has witnessed historic participation from the voters. There were around 21,000 Kashmiri migrants electors in PC- Baramulla who opted for voting at 26 Special Polling Stations established at Jammu (21), Udhampur (01) and Delhi (04). At these 26 special polling stations, there was voter turnout of 32 per cent at Jammu and around 50 per cent at Udhampur and Delhi. It is also for the first time that the migrant community has turned for vote in such a large numbers.
The Chief Electoral Officer Jammu and Kashmir, in his message, congratulated all the voters and expressed gratitude towards all those voters who came in large numbers to cast their votes. He also appreciated work done by all the Polling personnel, including security personnel deployed in the election process, Police officers, ARO, RO and District Election Officers for their service in making the ongoing elections successful.

LG congratulates people, stakeholders on high voter turnout

SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday congratulated the people and all the stakeholders on the high voter turnout in Baramulla Parliamentary Constituency.
In a tweet, the Lt Governor said: “High voter turnout, over 58% in Baramulla Parliamentary Constituency, is very encouraging and shows the people’s determination and unwavering faith in democracy. I congratulate and thank the people of Baramulla for joining the Maha Kumbh of our democracy in large numbers.
I appreciate the hard work of all the stakeholders to ensure free, fair, accessible, inclusive & peaceful conduct of voting. Happy to see young voters expressing and celebrating their unshakable faith in democratic values. Hope this positive trend will continue in the next phase”.

Give up arms, return to family: Terrorist’s brother says to him from polling booth

Baramulla : A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist’s brother appealed to him to surrender in the interest of peace after he cast his vote here in the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency on Monday.
Rouf Ahmad Lone is the brother of Umar Lone, an active LeT terrorist, who is wanted in several militancy-related cases. “Voting is my right, so I cast my vote. I appeal to everybody to cast their vote as developmental works will take place after that. Come to the polling booths and don’t waste your vote,” Lone told reporters in Pattan in the north Kashmir district. Rouf raised a finger smeared with the indelible ink and appealed to his brother to give up arms and return to his family. “I appeal to my brother Umar to surrender (before security forces). If he does so, it will be much better, he will return to his mother and family,” Lone said. In April this year, Umar’s mother also issued an appeal to him to surrender before the forces.

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