Voting picks up in Srinagar (Third Lead)

May 7th, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, May 7 (IANS) Voting in the prestigious Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency began on a dull note but picked up as the day warmed, recording a 9.31 percent turnout by noon Thursday.
The two assembly constituencies of Kangan and Charar-e-Sharief recorded 22 percent and 25 percent voting respectively in the first five hours, topping the 15 assembly segments in this Lok Sabha constituency.

Farooq Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and the state’s ruling National Conference’s candidate, is pitted against Molvi Ifftekhar Hussain Ansari of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The eight assembly segments of Srinagar city recorded a very low voter turnout by noon.

A by-election is also held here for the Sonawar assembly seat, which was vacated earlier this year by Abdullah prior to seeking elections to the Rajya Sabha.

The National Conference’s Yasin Shah and PDP’s Muhammad Ashraf Mir are the main contestants for this seat.

Earlier in the day, unidentified people hurled a petrol bomb at a polling station in Umer Colony of Lal Bazaar locality. The explosion did not cause any damage.

Stone-pelting anti-poll protesters were also chased away by security forces at a few places.

Separatist leaders have called for a 50-hour shutdown and a poll boycott.

All the senior separatist leaders including hardliner Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the chairman of the so-called moderate Hurriyat group, and Muhammad Yasin Malik, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) have been placed under house arrest.

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