Kashmiris defy boycott calls to cast their votes

April 30th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Bharatiya Janata Party Anantnag, Apr 30 (ANI): Defying the boycott call by the separatist faction of Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, residents came out in large numbers to cast their votes in Kashmir on Thursday.

While Srinagar wore a deserted look, in Anantnag residents thronged the polling booths from early morning to cast their votes with hopes of electing a government that would deliver on its promises.

“We want to elect a candidate who will help us and work for the upliftment and development of our region,” said Umer Majeed, one of the early voters.

The separatists have called for a 50-hour shutdown in the valley, against the polls.

This is not the first time the separatists have given a call for poll boycott in Kashmir.

The separatists had to suffer a major setback after residents defied the boycott call given by the Hurriyat during the State Assembly polls held in November 2008 and came out in large numbers to cast their votes.

A prominent Kashmiri separatist leader Sajjad Lone, who had given a call for poll boycott during the state elections, has decided to contest during these general elections and raise the voices of Kashmiris in the Parliament.

Besides the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are also contesting in the elections. (ANI)

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