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Baramulla goes to polls today

01:22 AM May 20, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
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Baramulla, May 19: Amid tight security arrangements, the Baramulla Parliamentary constituency is all set to go for polling on Monday for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha (LS) elections.

A top official told Greater Kashmir that strict and foolproof security arrangements are in place outside polling stations and at different spots to ensure smooth incident-free elections in the Baramulla parliamentary constituency.

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“Everything is being monitored through CCTV and drone surveillance is being done,” the official said.

Around 200 additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have already arrived in the Baramulla parliament constituency and have been deputed to their designated areas.

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“Around 100 companies have been deployed in Baramulla district alone,” a top official said.

The official said that a few polling stations designated along the border fence and ahead of the fence in the Uri sector of Baramulla are being monitored through joint coordination of Police and civil administration with the Indian Army.

“In coordination with the Indian Army, we have finalised the movement plan of polling staff in these polling stations,” the official said.

Besides, routine drills and patrolling are being done in some sensitive areas of Baramulla and Sopore town to prevent any disruptions in the voting.

“Security forces are monitoring roads and other by-lanes as well. Everyone is alert to ensure a safe and fear-free environment for voters,” the official said.

The senior officers are personally assessing the ground situation to ensure that the polling day passes without any negative incident.

Around eight polling stations in Baramulla district – six in Uri and two in Rafiabad have either weak or no network for which the Police in Baramulla and Sopore have framed a detailed communication plan and have set up wireless communication service at these polling booths.

On Sunday, the election authorities started dispatching the polling staff along with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to all the polling stations designated in the four districts of the Baramulla parliamentary constituency.

The high-stakes contest in Baramulla has attracted a diverse array of 22 candidates from various political parties and independent groups.

Among the prominent contenders are former chief minister and National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah, former minister and Peoples Conference (PC) President Sajad Gani Lone, independent candidate Engineer Rashid, and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Muhammad Fayaz Mir.

A total of 17,37,8865 voters have been enrolled in phase five including 8,75,831 male and 8,62,000 female voters besides 34 third gender electorates.

There are around 17,128 Persons with Disability (PwDs) and 527 persons above the age of 100 years who will also be exercising their franchise.

A total of 2103 polling stations have been set up in Baramulla parliamentary constituency including 905 polling booths set up across 722 locations in Baramulla district which have been declared as critical stations.

All the 2103 polling stations of the Baramulla parliamentary constituency will have CCTV cameras for live webcasting in total 4206 cameras and 50 additional CCTV cameras at the main entrances of the polling stations.

Also, over 40000 first-time voters are expected to exercise their right to franchise on the day of voting.

The Baramulla parliament constituency has 18 assembly segments including six in Kupwara - Karnah, Trehgam, Kupwara, Lolab, Handwara, and Langate.

Baramulla district has seven assembly segments – Sopore, Rafiabad, Uri, Baramulla, Gulmarg, Wagoora-Kreeri, and Pattan.

Bandipora district has three assembly segments – Sonwari, Bandipora, and Gurez (ST).

Two assembly segments of Budgam district also fall in Baramulla post delimitation.

Baramulla district has 7.5 lakh voters.

As per the official communication issued by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K, the voting will take place from 7 am to 6 pm.

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