Jammu/Srinagar, Nov 25:
Voting started on a slow note in 15 assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday because of the freezing temperature and foggy weather conditions.
In Nubra, Leh, Kargil and Zanskar constituencies of Ladakh region, the morning temperature was several notches below the freezing point. In Gurez border constituency, only one or two voters turned up.
The morning cold also affected the early voter turnout in Doda, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Inderwal, Ramban and Bannihal constituencies in the Jammu region.
Officials said voting started peacefully in all 15 constituencies.
“Polling started peacefully at all the 1,787 polling stations spread over seven districts.
“Voting process was slow in the morning, but it is likely to pick up as the day warms up,” an official said.
Young voters queued up at the Hariganimen polling booth of the Kangan constituency in Ganderbal district. Dressed in traditional Kashmiri attire, most of them probably were first-time voters.
The total number of registered voters at this booth are 642 – 335 males and 307 females – of which around 50 votes had been cast by 8.30 a.m.
Mamina, a 20-year-old student, told IANS: “I will vote for somebody who will vote for development of this backward area.”
After the initial hour, as the sun came up in the clear sky, more voters turned up in places such as Mamarcherman, Kangan and Margund towns.
Two districts in the Kashmir Valley, two in the Ladakh region, and three in Jammu region will vote Tuesday.
Besides 225 micro observers, the election commission has arranged webcasting at 159 polling stations.
Over a million voters will get to decide the political fate of 123 candidates who are in the fray in the state.