Srinagar Polling Records Historic Voter Turnout, PM Modi Says ‘Art 370 Abrogation Enabled Aspirations Of People’

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People stand in a queue to vote at a polling station, during the fourth general election phase, in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, May 13, 2024. (Reuters)

People stand in a queue to vote at a polling station, during the fourth general election phase, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, May 13, 2024. (Reuters)

Historic high voter turnout at Srinagar polling center. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha congratulates stakeholders. Peaceful polling witnessed in various Assembly segments

Srinagar polling center on Monday registered a record 36.58% voter turnout by 8 pm, marking a historic high for which Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha congratulated the people and all stakeholders in the parliamentary constituency.

“Voters of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Pulwama, and Shopian showed up in record numbers to cast their votes in a show of faith and enthusiasm in the election process,” the Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a press note. This was the first general election in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370 and the enaction of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. There are 24 candidates in the fray as compared to 12 in the 2019 general election, the ECI added.

“Would especially like to applaud the people of Srinagar Parliamentary constituency for the encouraging turnout, significantly better than before. The abrogation of Article 370 has enabled the potential and aspirations of the people to find full expression. Happening at the grassroots level, it is great for the people of J&K, in particular the youth,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a post on X.

Security personnel stand guard as people stand in line to vote at a polling station during the fourth general election phase, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, May 13, 2024. (Reuters)

‘It is heartening’

In a post on X, the Lt Governor said: “Today, people came out in large numbers to cast their votes in Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency and reaffirmed their faith in democracy and the constitution. I commend the hard work by all the stakeholders for free, fair, peaceful and smooth conduct of the polling.”

Returning Officer for Srinagar, Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat, said there were no reports of zero voting from 2,135 polling stations across the constituency. Notably, in the past many polling stations would record zero turnout. “It is heartening to see the huge surge in voting percentage in the biggest festival of democracy. I truly appreciate the enthusiasm of electors and hopeful to see historic turnout in the next two phases. I appeal to all to vote without fear and vote with responsibility and pride,” Lt Governor Sinha said.

‘Biggest endorsement’

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya lauded the record turnout as “the biggest endorsement for a flourishing democracy in Kashmir, post abrogation of Art 370.” “Polling percent in the prestigious Srinagar LS seat has jumped significantly in 2024 GE to 36.88% (still updating). Figures for: 2019 GE 14.43% 2014 GE 25.86%. Another campaign of calumny bites dust,” Malviya said in a post on the microblogging website X.

The fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections today saw a voter turnout of 62.9% till 8 pm in 96 constituencies spread over 10 States and union territories. As many as 1,717 candidates were in fray in this phase and 17.7 crore electors were eligible to exercise their franchise. So far, the voting process in 23 States and union territories and 379 seats has been completed.

Explore in-depth coverage of voting in Telangana , Odisha , and Andhra Pradesh during Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 4 polling.

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