Voting begins on dull note in Kashmir

April 30th, 2009 - 9:44 am ICT by IANS  

Anantnag (Jammu and Kashmir), April 30 (IANS) Voting began on a dull note in the south Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency of Anantnag that went to polls Thursday in the third of the five phase parliamentary elections.
Pollign booths opened at 7 a.m. amid tight security but very few people turned out to exercise their franchise during the first one hour of polling.

Just 80 votes had been cast till 8 a.m. in the four polling stations set up inside the municipal building in Anantnag town and in Sarnal locality.

Reports from the other three districts of Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama also indicated low-key voting.

The main contest here is between the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Peer Muhammad Hussain and Mirza Mehboob Beg of the ruling National Conference (NC).

While separatists have asked people to boycott the elections and called for a 50-hour long shutdown to coincide with the polls, authorities have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure free and fair voting.

Anantnag is the first of the three Lok Sabha constituencies of the Kashmir valley to go to the polls.

Voting in the Srinagar seat is scheduled for May 7 and Baramulla seat for May 13.

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