Killing of BJP leader Gul Mohammad Mir by terrorists in South Kashmir’s Anantnag has created scare among the electorate that might cast its shadow on the polling percentage on Monday in the Pulwama and Shopian segments of the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat.
Because of the terror threat, the Election Commission had ordered polling for the Anantnag seat in three phases and Monday is the final phase of voting.
Being the most terror-prone segment, the killing of Mir has created further scare among the electorate. Terrorists had last week fired and critically wounded a former BJP leader in the Shopian district.
Three terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were last week killed in an encounter with the security forces in the Shopian district.
The Anantnag and Kulgam districts of the seat had last month recorded very low polling percentage. The separatists have called for a boycott of polling.
Keeping in view the incidents of terror, the authorities have beefed up the security set up and deployed in strength the Army, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB and J&K police in the poll-bound Pulwama and Shopian districts for trouble-free voting that will begin on Monday at 7 am. Polling will conclude at 4 pm as a preventive measure. The J&K DGP Dilbag Singh is monitoring the situation.
Polling will also be held for the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat. Over 6.97 lakh voters will decide the fate of 22 candidates in the two constituencies.
In the last phase, Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency and Pulwama-Shopian districts of Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency are going to polls with aggregated electoral strength of 6,97,148 voters including 3, 57,879 male, 3, 35,799 female, 3, 456 service voters and 14 transgender voters.
To ensure smooth conduct of polls, 1254 polling stations have been established.
The Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency comprises two districts of Leh and Kargil. The Kargil district consists of two assembly segments, Kargil and Zanskar, while Leh district includes Nubra and Leh assembly segments.
The Ladakh seat has an electoral strength of 1, 74,618. Out of total voters, 86, 752 are male, 85, 064 female, 2, 799 are service voters and 3 transgender.
The ECI has set up 559 polling stations across the constituency for the smooth conduct of the electoral exercise.
Kargil District has 87, 781 electors including 44, 057 male, and 42, 405 female. 265 polling stations have been set up across the district.
Similarly, Leh District has 86, 837 electors including 42, 695 male, and 42, 659 female. 294 polling stations have been set up across the district to ensure smooth polling.
The ECI has established two polling stations in Leh (Gaik) and Nubra (Washi) segments having only seven voters each while as polling station with the highest number of voters (1301) has been set up at Leh (Shynam).
The highest polling station, Anlay Pho (Changthang), has been set up in Leh district at an altitude of 15,000 ft. The booth is barely 50 meters from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The candidates in fray are Rigzin Spalbar (Congress), Jamyang Tsering Namgyal (BJP), and Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Hussain, both independents.
South Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts have 5, 22,530 electors including 2, 71,127 male, 2, 50,735 female, 657 service electors and 11 transgender.
Of the 18 candidates in the fray in Anantnag, prominent are Hasnain Masoodi (NC), Sofi Yousuf (BJP), Ghulam Ahmad Mir (Congress) and Mehbooba Mufti (PDP).