A mixed response was witnessed for the first phase of Loksabha elections in Baramulla as some polling booths wore a deserted look and others were overwhelmed with voters. While brisk voting was witnessed in Sonwari and Sambal areas, polling booths in Baramullah and Sopore remained desolate.
Amid tight security arrangements, People thronged polling booths to decide the fate of ten candidates fighting for the Baramulla Parliamentary seat. However, Brath village in Sopore town of Baramulla district and Bab-gund village in Handwara town of Kupwara district witnessed complete boycott and only a few votes were cast.
A complete shutdown was observed across the valley following a strike issued the Joint Resistance Leadership on Wednesday. The streets and roads wore a deserted look as public transport was off the roads.
The shops and other business establishments were also closed. The shutdown was also observed in other districts headquarters of the valley. The internet services were also suspended in most parts of the valley.
The paramilitary forces and local policemen were guarding the streets and polling booths.
An 80-year-old zooni has been voting for the traditional political parties throughout her life but blames them for failing to deliver on their promises.
She believes traditional political parties have failed to change the fortunes of people, promoting her to vote for a newly launched peoples conference.
“Previous leaders have not fulfilled Their promises” she said, adding that the new leaders need to be given chance.
Ghulam Rasool from Sambal-Sonwari area says that boycotting polls would only aggravate our problems and promote wrong leaders.
After assuming power, they work for self-interests rather than the welfare of the people, “Not casting your vote to bring wrong people in the power, we all should cast our vote so wrong people are not elected,” said Ghulam Muhammad.
Sajad Ahmad, a first-time voter, came out to cast his vote without any tension in his mind, “many people from my village came out to vote and that encouraged me. I just came out to for the experience.” He, however, has least hopes from the politicians.