Contrary to the enthusiasm witnessed among Kashmiri Muslim voters in several areas of the State, the displaced Kashmiri Pandits were lukewarm to exercising their franchise in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
There have been varying figures for the number of Pandits. The Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti claims that the number of the Pandits who migrated in 1990 was 3,64,130 or 99.14% of the population. Even if the most conservative figure of 200,000 is taken into account, the number of the Pandit voters should have been 1,34,000 as the national figure of the people aged 18 years and above is currently 67 per cent.
According to official statistics, the total number of the migrant voters in the Kashmir valley is 77,162 — just 31,670 in Srinagar-Budgam, 27,235 in Anantnag-Pulwama and 18,257 in the Baramulla-Kupwara constituency. While as few as 5,191 [16.39%] migrants voted in Srinagar-Budgam and 4,100 [15.05%] in Anantnag-Pulwama, the turnout was a paltry 3,147 [17.23%] in Baramulla-Kupwara. The aggregate turnout works out to 16.11%.
The Election Commission of India had set up special polling booths for the migrant electorate in Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi. But only 11 voters turned up for Srinagar-Budgam polling in New Delhi and just 15 for Baramulla-Kupwara.
On the other hand, Kupwara district in Kashmir recorded the highest turnout of 62.54%.
The lowest turnout of 6.32% was recorded in the violence-hit Pulwama district, followed by 10.71% in Srinagar.