Poor Voter Turnout In Jammu And Kashmir

23 April 2009

Jammu: Security personnel outnumbered voters at polling stations in the predominantly mountainous Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir where the second of the five-phase parliamentary polls was underway Thursday. According to election officials, only five percent turnout was recorded in the first three hours of polling, which began at 7 a.m. Tight security was in place in this constituency that witnessed gunfights between separatist militants and security personnel till a day before. “I was the first one to cast a vote but there was no one before or after me,” said Riaz Ahmad, a resident of Kishtwar who went to vote at 7.15 a.m. Some said they weren’t interested in the ballot process. “I was one among first to cast the vote in assembly elections in November last year. But I don’t feel like voting now as I feel all the parties have cheated us,” said Sham Lal, a tea stall owner near Tikri