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Voters queue up as polling gets underway in J&K’s Baramulla LS seat

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Baramulla: Once known for boycotting the elections, several such voters in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency were seen queuing up outside many polling stations here as polling got underway on Monday.

Despite two back to back militant attacks in South Kashmir just hours ahead of today’s polls that took away one life (repeating) one life, the voting here began on time at 7 am and will end at 6 pm as per schedule.

According to officials, there are 17.38 lakh voters in the constituency that comprises Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, and Budgam. The inclusion of Budgam and Beerwah constituencies following the delimitation exercise has expanded the constituency’s reach, now covering 18 assembly segments.

Authorities have set up 2,103 polling stations across the four districts — three among them share a border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The voters in the parliamentary constituency were seen standing in queues at many polling stations across the all four districts.

At Janbazpora polling booth on the outskirts of Baramulla town, there was long queue of voters early morning. Out of 1,200 votes, nearly 200 were polled by 9 am at the polling station.

“I am coming to vote for the first time,” said Irfan Ahmed Lone in his thirties. “I used to boycott polls, but this time I made by mind to vote. ”

Despite a large number of security forces deployed in the entire constituency, there is no tension or fear anywhere in the constituency.

The Baramulla constituency is witnessing a high-stake battle between National Conference’s vice president Omar Abdullah, former separatist turned mainstream leader, and People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, Peoples Democratic Party’s Fayaz Mir and jailed leader Abdul Rashid Sheikh popularly known as Engineer Rashid.

The poll campaign ended in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency on Saturday and hours later South Kashmir saw two back to back twin militant attacks. The attacks left a former sarpanch from the BJP dead and a couple from Jaipur injured.

The attacks came days after Srinagar saw the highest polling in almost three decades on May 13.

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