Other States

Fourth phase of J&K polls today

Supporters of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front shout slogans during a rally against the ongoing general elections in Srinagar on Saturday.

Supporters of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front shout slogans during a rally against the ongoing general elections in Srinagar on Saturday.  

more-in

Eighteen constituencies across the capital Srinagar and Anantnag and Samba districts will go to the polls in the fourth phase of the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

All eyes are on Srinagar, which is largely a pro-boycott stronghold.

In previous elections it has been the dedicated voters of National Conference (NC) who have came forward to cast their votes. The NC won all eight seats from Srinagar in the 2008 elections which catapulted the party to power. This time too, Srinagar could again be the deciding factor in the tussle between the big rivals: NC and PDP. Of late, the PDP has found a foothold in the city and is hoping not only to its open account in the city but also win more than four seats.

The BJP also has its closest chance of winning a seat in the Muslim majority valley in Srinagar's Habbakadal constituency. The BJP’s Motilal Kaul is banking on the votes of the 16,000 migrant Kashmiri Pandits and a boycott to clinch the seat.

“If there is a boycott tomorrow, the BJP will win and we don't want that at any cost,” says Muneer Ahamad Khan, a 31-year-old bank employee from Habbakadal. Khan said he supports the election boycott and has never voted before. “But this time, we are in a serious dilemma and I am close to casting a vote to defeat the BJP.”

In the absence of a boycott, the contest will lean toward the National Conference's sitting legislator Shameema Firdous. Journalist-turned-politician Zafar Meraj is also in the fray from the constituency.

PDP stronghold

Among the candidates in the fray for this phase are Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the former Chief Minister and People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, seeking re-election from Sonawar and Anantnag respectively.

In the six constituencies of Anantnag district, PDP candidates are seen as favourites, with the party seeking to retain four seats. Two sitting Congress Ministers, G.A. Mir and Peerzada Mohammad Saeed, are also seeking re-election from the district.

A large number of security personnel have been deployed for smooth conduct of polls.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:41:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jammu-and-kashmir-assembly-polls-fourth-phase-of-jk-polls-today/article6689447.ece

Next Story