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Business News/ Politics / Kashmir News: After Srinagar, Baramulla breaks voter turnout record with 59 % polling, highest since 1984
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Kashmir News: After Srinagar, Baramulla breaks voter turnout record with 59 % polling, highest since 1984

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The best turnout in about four-decade-long history of polling in Baramulla seat was 61.09 per cent, in 1984 general elections. In 1989, the Baramulla seat saw just 5 per cent voter turnout.

Kashmir News:: An elderly voter shows her ink marked finger after casting her vote at a polling booth during the phase 5 of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Monday, May 20, 2024. (PTI)Premium
Kashmir News:: An elderly voter shows her ink marked finger after casting her vote at a polling booth during the phase 5 of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Monday, May 20, 2024. (PTI)

The Baramulla parliamentary constituency, one of the 49 seats voting in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 today, registered an estimated 59 per cent voter turnout, according to Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Election Officer, PK Pole

This is a record of sorts for the constituency in north Kashmir for any general election after 1984. The best turnout in four-decade-long history of polling in Baramulla seat was 61.09 per cent, in the 1984 general elections.

Follow all Live Updates on Phase 5 Polling here

The voter turnout app of Election Commission of India showed 58.17 per cent turnout for Baramulla on Tuesday morning. This number will be updated till final voter turnout is released in a day or two.

Baramulla is one of the three seats in the Kashmir division of J&K—other than Srinagar and Anantnag-Rajouri—where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not fielded any candidates.

 

Lok Sabha Election Phase 5:The voter turnout app of Election Commission of India showed 58.17 per cent turnout for Baramulla on Tuesday morning. This number will be updated till final voter turnout is released in a day or two.
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Lok Sabha Election Phase 5:The voter turnout app of Election Commission of India showed 58.17 per cent turnout for Baramulla on Tuesday morning. This number will be updated till final voter turnout is released in a day or two. (ECI)

The seat comprises assembly segments in the Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, and Budgam districts.

Former J&K chief minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) chief Sajad Lone are the main contenders for the seat. Independent candidate Abdul Rashid Sheikh, popularly known as Engineer Rashid, is also in the fray, along with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Fayaz Ahmad Mir.

Also Read: Engineer Rashid, jailed under UAPA, electrifies phase 5 Lok Sabha contest in Baramulla today

Srinagar voted in the fourth phase of polling on May 13, and Anantnag-Rajouri will go to the polls in the sixth phase on May 25.

Srinagar recorded a record 38 percent voter turnout during the May 13 polling. This was the highest voting percentage in the constituency since the 1996 general elections, when 41 percent of voters exercised their franchise.

The record so far

After Srinagar's record, all eyes were on the two seats – Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri. Past election records show that both these seats have registered higher voter turnout than the predominantly urban Srinagar seats.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections Baramulla saw a slight dip in the voter turnout at 35 per cent. In the 2014 elections, Baramulla recorded 39 per cent turnout. In 2009, the Baramulla seat recorded a 41 per cent turnout. In 2004, Baramulla witnessed a 36 per cent turnout.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024: What does Srinagar’s record voter turnout tell us about J&K's Article 370 scraping?

In a departure from earlier elections, the Lok Sabha polls 2024 are being held sans any boycott calls. Interestingly, the poll boycotts had never deterred the high voter turnouts in the Baramulla seat earlier, either. 

The turnout was expected to increase considering the high-octane campaign by four candidates in the fray. In 1989, the seat seat saw just 5 per cent voter turnout. The turnout was 46.65 per cent in 1996 general elections. In 1998, the Baramulla seat saw a 42 percent voter turnout. In 1999, the Baramulla seat registered 28 percent turnout. 

Scrapping Article 370

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 mark the first general elections in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370of the Constitution in August 2019 by the BJP-ruled Union government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded the people of Srinagar for the ‘encouraging’ turnout, saying that the abrogation of Article 370 has enabled people to express their potential and aspirations fully. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also commented that voting in Srinagar was “the greatest testament to the rightness of the decision" to revoke Article 370.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024: Piyush Goyal among top 3 richest candidates in fray in phase 5 polling tomorrow

However, the BJP has not fielded a candidate in any of the three Lok Sabha seats in the predominantly Muslim Kashmir valley. In fact, both the main contenders in Baramulla, Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone, have been vocal critics of the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 and 35A in August 2019. Likewise in Srinagar, NC and PDP candidates sought votes against the Centre's August 5, 2019 decision.

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Published: 20 May 2024, 06:02 PM IST
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