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Business News/ Politics / News/  Kashmir News: Redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri breaks turnout record with over 54% polling in Phase 6, highest after 1984
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Kashmir News: Redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri breaks turnout record with over 54% polling in Phase 6, highest after 1984

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Anantnag-Rajouri seat, previously known as Anantnag has a history of fluctuating voter turnouts, with the highest being 70 per cent in the 1984 elections. Srinagar and Baramulla, the two other seats of Kashmir, also registered record voter turnouts.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: A family poses for photographs after casting votes at a polling station during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, Saturday, May 25, 2024. ( (PTI)Premium
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: A family poses for photographs after casting votes at a polling station during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, Saturday, May 25, 2024. ( (PTI)

The Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency of Jammu and Kashmir that voted in phase 6 of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 on May 25 registered an approximate 54.46 per cent voter turnout, according to the Election Commission of India's updated figures on Sunday, May 26.

This is the record voter turnout recorded in the redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri seat – earlier known as Anantnag – after the 1984 general elections when it registered 70 per cent polling, highest ever since 1967 when the seat was formed.

The high voter turnout in the seat was in sharp contrast to the poll percentage of 9 registered in the 2019 general election. Even the militancy-infested Zainapora Assembly segment, which registered a turnout of 2 per cent in 2019, recorded a poll percentage of 41 on Saturday.

 

54.46 per cent is is the record voter turnout recorded in the redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri seat after the 1984 general elections when it registered 70 per cent polling.
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54.46 per cent is is the record voter turnout recorded in the redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri seat after the 1984 general elections when it registered 70 per cent polling. (ECI)

The seat was one of the 58 seats that voted in the sixth and penultimate phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 on May 25. Overall, the 58 seats recorded 59.06 % voter turnout in Phase 6 until updated till 7.45 pm on Saturday. 

Anantnag- Rajouri is one of the three seats in the Kashmir Valley—other than Srinagar and Baramulla—where the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) has not fielded any candidates. The saffron party is, however, informally supporting local parties to keep the two regional satraps – the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – at bay.

Follow all Live Updates on Lok Sabha Elections Phase 6 Here

The seat witnessed a three-way contest in the first election after the abrogation of Article 370 and redrawing of its political map. PDP chief, Mehbooba Mufti, is pitted against Mian Altaf of the NC, and Zafar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party from this seat.

Srinagar, Baramulla and now Anantnag-Rajouri

Both Srinagar and Baramulla registered record voter turnout. Srinagar which voted in fourth phase on May 13, saw 38.49 per cent voter turnout while Baramulla which voted in fifth phase on May 20 recorded 59.1 per cent voter turnout, according to the poll panel.

The Anantnag-Rajouri seat gained even more significance in shaping the region's political landscape after its electoral boundaries were redrawn in 2022.

Delimitation

Until 2022, the constituency in South Kashmir – known earlier as Anantnag – comprised only the districts of the Valley. However, a redrawn Anantnag-Rajouri seat was carved out by combining the Anantnag region in the Valley and Rajouri and Poonch of the Jammu region, changing the seat's demography through delimitation.

Also Read: Kashmir News: J-K assembly polls soon after Lok Sabha Election 2024? Here's what CEC said after record Baramulla turnout

The new seat has 18 assembly segments — 11 in the Kashmir region’s Shopian, Kulgam, and Anantnag districts and 7 in Jammu's Poonch and Rajouri districts across the Pir Panjal range.

70 % turnout in 1984

The highest ever turnout in Anantnag was about 70 per cent in the 1984 elections. This, however, fell to 5.1 per cent in 1989, due to insurgency in the Valley. In the subsequent elections, the turnout continued to fluctuate.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti alleges PDP workers detained on Phase 6 polling day, stages protest

No election could be held in 1991 parliamentary polls in Anantnag. In 1996, the turnout again went up to 50.2 per cent only to reduce to 28.2 per cent in 1998 general elections.

In 1999, the polling per centage in Anantnag fell further to just 14.3 percent. In 2004, when PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti won the seat, the turnout was about 15 per cent. In the next two elections – 2009 and 2014 – the turnout was between 27 and 29 per cent. And in 2019, the turnout was about 9 per cent in Anantnag.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 25 May 2024, 05:55 PM IST
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