Kashmir Indepth

Anantnag-Rajouri Sees Remarkable 53% Voter Turnout, JK Records 58% Voter Engagement, Significant Increase from 2019

By: Ishtiyaq Kar

Srinagar, May 25: The Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency recorded a notable voter turnout of 53% today, signaling a significant increase in voter engagement compared to previous years.
The Surankote assembly segment reported the highest participation, while Kulgam had the lowest.
At the Union Territory level, Jammu and Kashmir saw a 58% voter turnout, as announced by the Chief Electoral Officer, P.K. Pole.
This year’s turnout in Anantnag-Rajouri marks a dramatic rise from the mere 9.7% recorded in 2019, reflecting a substantial shift in voter sentiment and participation. The Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, reconstituted in 2022 by the Delimitation Commission to include most parts of Rajouri and Poonch districts, has witnessed peaceful and orderly polling throughout the day.
Polling stations operated from 7 AM to 6 PM without any significant incidents. The robust voter turnout was evident from the long queues that formed early in the morning and continued throughout the day. The smooth voting process was credited to the diligent efforts of the Election Commission and security forces.
J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer, P.K. Pole, praised the voters’ enthusiasm, stating, “Voters have participated enthusiastically in today’s polling.”
This election is crucial as it determines the fate of 20 candidates, including prominent figures like People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leader Mian Altaf Ahmad. The constituency, encompassing five districts—Kulgam, Anantnag, Poonch, Shopian (Zainapora), and Rajouri—boasts a diverse electorate of 18.36 lakh voters.
Over 2,300 polling stations were established across the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, staffed by over 9,000 polling personnel. Extensive security measures were in place, especially given the strategic importance of the constituency. The election, initially scheduled for May 7, was postponed to May 25 to allow better security and logistical arrangements.
The turnout in this year’s election is a marked improvement from 2019, when the Anantnag constituency saw a dismal 9.8% turnout due to a volatile situation at the time. This year’s higher participation rates reflect improved security and voter confidence.
Authorities managed an extensive electioneering campaign, approving 1,920 of 2,200 applications for rallies, roadshows, and meetings. Several inclusive measures were implemented, including polling booths managed entirely by women, differently-abled individuals, and young volunteers, as well as ‘green’ polling stations to promote environmental awareness.
Polling stations in the border villages of Poonch and Rajouri operated peacefully, free from the fear of cross-border shelling, marking a significant improvement in the security situation.
Today’s peaceful and well-attended polling day is a hopeful chapter for Anantnag and its surrounding areas, reflecting the residents’ determination to participate in the democratic process. The eagerly awaited results will be a crucial indicator of the political landscape in this reconstituted constituency.

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