Poll campaign ends peacefully in Baramulla, Ladakh

May 11th, 2009 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, May 11 (IANS) Poll campaigning ended peacefully Monday evening for two Jammu and Kashmir Lok Sabha constituencies, Baramulla and Ladakh, where voting will be held Wednesday.
“Campaigning has drawn to a close and despite provocation by separatist leaders, the process remained peaceful and smooth,” said a police officer.

Separatist leaders have asked the people to stay away from the elections.

The main contest in north Kashmir Baramulla constituency is between separatist leader and Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Lone, ruling National Conference’s Shareef-ud-din Shariq and opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s Dilawar Mir.

In Ladakh, P. Namgyal of the Congress is pitted against independent candidate Ghulam Hassan Khan.

Lone has added an interesting dimension to the elections in Baramulla by becoming the first separatist leader to join the electoral fray ever since armed violence erupted two decades ago.

Authorities said strict security arrangements have been made in Baramulla, which has long been a hot bed of militancy.

In the Kashmir Valley’s Anantnag and Srinagar constituencies the average turnout in the third and fourth phase was 25 percent.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Baramulla recorded 35.66 percent voter turnout while in Ladakh over 73 percent of the electorate exercised their franchise.

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