J&K: Campaigning ends in Anantnag-Rajouri LS constituency, voting on May 25

Srinagar, May 23 (IANS): As the poll campaign in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency ended at 6 p.m. on Thursday, over 18.30 lakh voters will exercise franchise on May 25. This is the only Lok Sabha constituency of Jammu and Kashmir that has voting segments in both Jammu division and Kashmir Valley.

There are 18 voting segments in this constituency including 4 in Rajouri district, 3 in Poonch district, both in Jammu division, 7 segments in Anantnag, 3 in Kulgam and 1 in Shopian district of the Kashmir Valley.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has set up 2,338 polling stations in the constituency.

There are 20 candidates in the fray including former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), senior Gujjar-Bakarwal leader, Mian Altaf Ahmad of the National Conference (NC), Zaffar Iqbal Manhas of J&K Apni Party and Maqbool Parray of Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP).

A total of 18.30 lakh voters in the constituency include 8.99 lakh women, and 81,000 first-time voters.

The Lok Sabha election in this constituency is also the first election after August 5, 2019 when Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated and J&K got the status of a Union Territory.

The ECI is expecting a high voter turnout in this constituency on May 25 because of the large voter turnout in Srinagar and Baramulla Lok Sabha constituencies and also because of the high-octane campaign carried out by the main contestants of NC, PDP and the Apni Party which is backed by BJP.

The Srinagar Lok Sabha seat witnessed 38 per cent and Baramulla 59 per cent voter turnout.

Poonch and Rajouri districts are also likely to vote in large numbers even as a recent terror attack left three persons, including an Indian Air Force (IAF) Corporal, a former Sarpanch of the BJP and a government official, who was the brother of a Territorial Army jawan, dead.

The Line of Control (LoC) is located in both Poonch and Rajouri districts and special arrangements have been made to ensure that the democratic process is not disrupted at polling stations situated close to the LoC.

Authorities have also made elaborate arrangements of security in Poonch and Rajouri districts for smooth and fearless voter turnout.

Large numbers of CAPFs and J&K police have been deployed in these districts.

Intensive patrolling is going on in these two districts to dominate areas. Police have moved out to secure the polling stations two days ahead of the voting day.

In the three districts of the Kashmir Valley, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian, where voting segments of this constituency are situated, security has been tightened.

District Magistrates on Thursday imposed restrictions under Section 144 of CrPc in these districts to keep anti-national elements at bay and to provide a free, fearless and secured environment to the voters.

Voting will start at 7 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. on May 25 in this constituency.



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Title: J&K: Campaigning ends in Anantnag-Rajouri LS constituency, voting on May 25

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