Sumbal records highest turnout in Kashmir 2nd phase polling


Hundreds of people queued up from early morning Wednesday to cast their vote for elections to Sumbal Municipal Committee, registering nearly 36 percent turnout in the second phase of the municipal elections in Kashmir.
The overall poll percentage in Kashmir was 3.4 in the second phase, with Bandipora district, of which Sumbal is a part, topping at 35.6 percent turnout, according to a government statement. 
Officials said 2834 out of 7951 electors cast their vote in Sumbal area, amounting to 35.64 percent turnout. Nearly half of those who voted were women. 
“I cast my vote to get our issues resolved at the local level. We have been actively participating in elections from last 25 years but our woes and issues have always been ignored by political parties, be it Congress, BJP, PDP or NC,” said Jahangeer Ahmad, who cast his vote at GDC Sumbal polling station.
“In these municipal elections we get a chance to choose our local representations from our wards.” 
Voters in the area said this was an election for the poor people and hoped to get their local issues resolved by turning out to choose ward level representatives from amongst themselves.
People from poor background know the issues of local importance and when they get elected they know which issues need to be addressed. This is the reason we have come in support of these candidates contesting in ULB polls from Sumbal and cast our vote,” Ahmad said.
Sumbal Municipal Committee has a total of 13 wards out of which 11 went to polls on Wednesday with 35 candidates in the fray. Two independent candidates from ward nos. 1 and 8 were elected unopposed.
Congress had fielded 7 candidates while BJP had 11 and 17 were contesting as independent candidates.
Eleven polling stations at six places were designated for 11 wards of Sumbal Municipal Committee.
Highest numbers of votes were polled in the Sonburn polling station where 820 votes out 1082 were cast for Ward No. 9 (Sonburn), followed by 699 votes out 0f 970 in Ward no. 11 (Bun Mohalla), 504 votes were polled in Ward No. 12 (Ganzaree Mohalla), 262 in Ward No. 6 (Chane Mohalla), 184 in Ward No. 5 (Arampora) and 174 in Ward No. 10 (Manze Mohalla).
The lowest voter turnout in Sumbal area was recorded in Ward No. 7 (Dumpora) where only five votes were cast out of 280 registered. In Ward No. 13 (Rakhi-Asham) only 28 votes were polled, 37 in Ward No. 3 (Bat Mohalla), 48 in Ward No. 2 (Wangipora Payeen) and 73 in Ward No. 04 (Main Bazar).
Many voters said that they did not feel threatened and came out to vote without any fear. 
“This is our democratic right to cast out votes. These elections are happening at the local level and we are able to elect local representatives. By electing local representatives, development takes place at local level,” said Nazir Ahmad who cast his vote at Sonburn polling station.

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