Srinagar: Nearly 16% of over 12 lakh voters Wednesday cast their ballot till mid-day in Baramulla and Ladakh parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.
The polling in the two constituencies began this morning amid tight security arrangements in view of the 50-hour strike and poll boycott call given by separatists.
While 15.83% of polling was registered in Baramulla parliamentary constituency spread over three districts of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora and comprising of 15 assembly segments, 16.82% of voters exercised their franchise in Ladakh Lok Sabha seat spread over two districts of Leh and Kargil and comprising four assembly segments.
Today’s polling will decide the fate of 18 candidates in the two constituencies — 13 in Baramulla and five in Ladakh.
Ruling National Conference’ Sharifuddin Shariq, PDP’s Mohammad Dilawar Mir and Sajad Ghani Lone of Peoples Conference are in the fray from Baramulla while Congress nominee P Namgyal is pitted against NC rebel Ghulam Hassan Khan in Ladakh.
In Baramulla constituency, Handwara, the native place of Lone and Shariq, recorded the highest poll percentage of 30.85 while Sopore, the home town of chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani, recorded a lowest 5.06%.
In rest of the segments in Baramulla, Karnah was leading with 30.09% followed by Gurez (29.67), Sonawari (23.46), Rafiabad (21.00), Langate (20.79), Kupwara (15.72), Lolab (15.28), Uri (14.00), Sangrama (13.00), Bandipora (11.37), Baramulla (8.12), Gulmarg (10.50) and Pattan (11.10).
In Ladakh, Kargil recorded the highest poll percentage of 21.59 followed by Zanskar (17.69 per cent), Leh (12.84) and Nobra (12.58), a spokesman of the election office said.
The polling in the two constituencies began on a dull note but picked up pace as the day progressed.
In the 2004 elections, Baramulla recorded a poll percentage of 35.66, while Ladakh recorded a high of 73.52% voter turnout.
“Brisk polling is underway in the two constituencies,” he said.
He said 12 polling stations have been established for 5,888 migrant voters of Baramulla parliamentary constituency at Jammu.