All set for counting in Kashmir

May 15th, 2009 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Srinagar, May 15 (IANS) All arrangements are in place for counting to begin Saturday at 8 a.m. for the six parliamentary seats in Jammu and Kashmir in staggered five-phased elections.
Counting for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat would be held at the counting hall set up inside the ‘Sangarmaal’ shopping complex in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Votes for south Kashmir Anantnag and north Kashmir Baramulla seats would be counted at the counting halls set up inside the degree colleges there.

Elaborate arrangements for counting and security of the counting halls have been made throughout the Valley.

“Nearly 400 people are being employed as the counting staff for each of the three Lok Sabha seats in the Valley,” a senior poll official said here.

“Adequate arrangements of security have been made around the counting halls so that the process is completed smoothly,” a senior police officer told IANS.

With the opening of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) here Saturday, the political fate of not only the mainstream politicians like the former chief minister and patron of the ruling National Conference (NC) Farooq Abdullah and Muhammad Dilawar Mir of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but also that of senior separatist leader Sajjad Gani Lone of the Peoples Conference would be decided.

Although both the ruling alliance partners, the regional NC and the Congress as also the opposition PDP are claiming to sense victory, nobody appears to be sure of what lies in store for them.

“Except for the Srinagar seat where Dr. Farooq Abdullah appears to be comfortably placed against his PDP rival, Molvi Ifftekhar Ansari, the remaining two seats of Anantnag and Baramulla could go either way,” said a local newspaper editor here.

In Jammu region, the battle for the two seats of Jammu and Udhampur is mainly between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while in Ladakh, it is between the Congress and an independent candidate.

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