62 per cent turnout, Round 6 also goes to J&K voters

18 December 2008
The Hindustan Times
Rashid Ahmad

Jammu: Voters in Jammu and Kashmir have once again snubbed separatists, who had called for a boycott of the assembly polls. About 62 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise in the sixth phase on Wednesday. Polls for 10 assembly seats six in Anantnag district and four in Kulgam district were held in this phase. Divisional Commissioner Masood Samoon, who announced the voting percentage, said Noorabad constituency recorded the highest percentage of 71 per cent, while Anantnag polled the lowest at 38 per cent. The voting went off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere. However, residents held a demonstration at Khannabal in Anantnag, raised pro-freedom slogans, and boycotted the polling. Anantnag town also witnessed a low turnout. But outside the town, a large number of voters lined in front of polling booths to cast their votes. We are voting for good governance, said Mohammad Amin Mir, who was among the first 20 voters to cast his vote at Diyalgam in Anantnag constituency. The polls will decide the fate of 169 candidates. Prominent among them are former chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, CPI-M leader Yousuf Tarigami, former state Congress president and minister Peerzadah Mohammad Saeed and senior National Conference leaders Mahboob Beg and Sakina Ittoo. The seventh and final phase of the elections is scheduled for December 24, in which eight seats in Srinagar district will go to the polls.