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Poll Bytes

Kashmir’s Empty Voting Machines

Scorned valley stays away from the polling booths

Kashmir’s Empty Voting Machines
Booths Sans Ballots | Photograph by PTI
Kashmir’s Empty Voting Machines
outlookindia.com
2019-04-26T11:40:32+05:30

It is the only constituency in the country that is going to polls in three phases. And yet, Anantnag, which comprises south Kashmir’s four districts, shows no signs that elections are on. In the first phase, on April 23, a few people cast votes at the two polling booths, serving 916 and 753 voters respectively, in Bumdoora village. But others thought it was a pointless exercise. “So many people have been killed in the past three years. Hundreds have been wounded. My father was booked under the Public Safety Act. Why should we vote and for whom?” asks one of the youngsters outside the polling station at Government Middle School, Bumdoora.

Some of the village elders say that the Congress candidate, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, has done developmental work in the region and they would vote for him. But voters on the ground were few—militants had called for a poll boycott and the first phase in Anantnag recorded a dismal 12.86 per cent turnout.

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