Parties asses mood as Modi, Shah applaud voter turnout in Srinagar

| | Jammu
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Parties asses mood as Modi, Shah applaud voter turnout in Srinagar

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

A day after the Srinagar Parliamentary constituency recorded over 38 per cent voter turnout, the second-highest so far after the 1996 Lok Sabha polls, several Kashmir-based politicians attempted to interpret the mood of the electorate to fine-tune their poll strategy for the next two rounds of voting in the valley.

Meanwhile, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have also applauded the people of the Srinagar parliamentary constituency for the "encouraging turnout" of 38 per cent, which is more than double the 14.43 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Ironically, former Congress leader and Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party Ghulam Nabi Azad  Tuesday claimed the voter turnout in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency is not high enough to know whether the people are happy or angry with the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories in 2019.

Azad said, “I had hoped Kashmir would witness 80 to 90 percent turnout given what has happened in the past seven to eight years. Article 370 was removed, and statehood was snatched. So I thought the turnout would be high, like 90 to 95 percent.

“The increase of a few percent hardly matters as it happens in every constituency of India. That way, we can not know whether the people are angry or happy (with the abrogation of Article 370 and snatching of statehood),” Azad told reporters while campaigning for his party candidate in Kulgam district.

His observation stood in total contrast to the statement made by the Union Home Minister.  “The Modi Government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 is showing results in the poll percentage as well. It has enhanced people’s trust in democracy and its roots have deepened in Jammu and Kashmir,” Amit Shah wrote on ‘X’ (earlier Twitter).

Shah said that through the rise in the poll percentage, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have given a befitting reply to those who opposed the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and are still advocating its restoration. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday appealed to the voters to vote en-mass in the remaining two phases of parliamentary elections in Kashmir.

Addressing people in Qazigund and Devsar, Mehbooba Mufti emphasized the importance of high voter turnout, warning against efforts by the BJP and its allies to suppress voter participation.

The PDP President pointed to the recent elections in the Srinagar constituency, where voters turned out in large numbers, driven by a sense of suffocation and a desire to reject the actions taken on August 5, 2019. She alleged that in areas with strong PDP support, the voting process was deliberately slowed down.

"In Srinagar, people who had never voted before participated in the parliamentary elections this time. They came out in droves to tell the BJP-led government that the actions taken in 2019 were unacceptable.

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