Third phase of polling underway in J-K

November 30th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by ANI  

By Parvez Butt

Srinagar, Nov 30 (ANI): Third phase of the seven phased elections is going on in Jammu and Kashmir today. Six constituencies where the votes are being polled include Kupwara, Lolab, Karnah, Langate, Handwara district.

Polling of votes started amid curfew like restrictions at eight in the morning and will close at four in the afternoon. Tight security arrangements have been made at all polling stations.

A complete shutdown is being observed across the Kashmir valley today. The Coordination Committee (an amalgam of Hurriyat, traders, employees. lawyers) has given the shutdown call against the elections.

Heavy deployment of security personnels has been made in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley to prevent any untoward incident in view of a call given by the separatist and the coordination committee.

Braving cold weather conditions and defying the boycott call given by the separatist, voters in large numbers came out early morning to cast their vote.

While addressing an election rally in Doda District on Saturday, National Conference leader and former State Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said the people of Jammu and Kashmir wanted change and that is why they have come out to vote openly.

People are coming out to change their destiny and for their own betterment. They want to change the prevailing situation and have come out to vote for their jobs, betterment of infrastructure and change the prevailing situation, he added.

He also condemned the recent row that the Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed and said that the scares would take time to heal.

The dispute that the Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) started over God Shiva has created a difference between the Hindus and the Muslims and it would take a long time to bridge the gaps. I dont think that after 1947, I have ever seen any such thing, he said.

Electioneering has intensified for the 18 Assembly seats in Baramulla, Budgam, Reasi and Udhampur districts where polling will be held on December 7 in the fourth phase.

Two phases of the seven phased elections have been successfully concluded with active participation of the people.

Despite the separatists call for the election boycott the first phase of the elections recorded 64 per cent participation.

In the first four phases, the number of candidates showed a marked increase this time as compared to last time. In the Kashmir division the number has gone up to more than double. Meanwhile, high-pitched campaigning is going on peacefully for the fourth and fifth phase of elections. (ANI)

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