Srinagar Parliamentary Seat : Subtleties and Surmises

Srinagar Parliamentary Seat: Subtleties and Surmises
Rameez Makhdoomi

The prestigious Srinagar Parliamentary constituency comprising of district Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal went to polls on 18th April.
The contest for the seat is triangular with National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah, People’s Conference leader Irfan Raza Ansari and People’s Democratic Party leader Agha Mohsin.
Low turnout, National Conference having upper hand, clashes, voting machine defaults at some places defined the election.

At 9.30am in the morning we found voting machines developed default in the beginning at Hakabazar were 198 votes were cast.
Total votes 626 pandan eleven
Male 318 female 308 . Voting Machines were being rectified there when we reached.
An aged voter gave important inputs.
Mohammad Sidiq, a 72 year old voter waiting for his turn at Pandan Nowhatta stated ” I have voted number of times and would like to make it clear that here only national conference rules the roost with competition at all. We vote NC for progressive and peaceful Kashmir. ”
On the other hand of the spectrum, Farooq Abdullah & Omar Abdullah cast their votes at a polling station in Munshi Bagh Area in Srinagar LS constituency. Omar Abdullah stated : “Now that LS polls are due to conclude, we can only hope that Centre together with EC give people of J&K and elected govt which is their right.
He Criticized the BJP’s choice of giving ticket to Sadhvi Pragayi .
The turnout at the end of the day was about 14 percent which was seven percent more than the bi election of 2017 but twelve percent less than 2014 polls.

Although in some pockets voting was strong, at Bemina G we saw 232 votes polled out of 958 just within three hours of polling.
Young Political analyst Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikandar stated :” The election for Srinagar parliamentary seat will witness a strong fight. With parties like PDP and PC fielding candidates like Agha Mohsin and Irfan Raza Ansari, the Shia vote is bound to get divided particularly in district Budgam, among PDP, PC and NC. But given the traditional network of National Conference, Dr Farooq Abdullah seems to emerge victorious. Further NC has campaigned on the issue of safeguarding the special status of Kashmir, while decrying and alleging that any vote cast in favour of PC or PDP is synonymous to be going in the kitty of BJP. So the chances of win are tilted in favour of Dr Farooq Abdullah.”