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ECI compliments J&K voters for 35-year high turnout

Electoral participation reminds of legendary Kashmiri artisanal weave: CEC Rajiv Kumar
12:38 AM May 28, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
eci compliments j k voters for 35 year high turnout
Chief Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar addressing a press conference in Jammu. (File/ GK)
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New Delhi, May 27: The Election Commission of India (ECI) Monday complimented the electorate of Jammu and Kashmir for the 35-year high voter turnout.

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The ECI termed J&K witnessing its highest poll participation in the last 35 years as a massive stride for India’s electoral polity.

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It said that the Combined Voter Turnout (VTR) at the polling stations for the entire J&K (5 Lok Sabha seats) was 58.46 percent in the Lok Sabha polls.

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The ECI said that this significant participation was a testament to the robust democratic spirit and civic engagement of the people in the region.

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The ECI led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners (ECs) Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu thanked the polling personnel and security officials for the peaceful conduct of elections in J&K.

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CEC Rajiv Kumar while conveying ECI's compliments to the voters of J&K said, “This achievement sits on a credible weave of 25 percent increase in the number of contesting candidates since 2019, C-vigil complaints showing enhanced citizen involvement, and Suvidha Portal showing 2455 requests for rallies, reflecting the steady retaking of the election and campaign space away from hesitation and to fuller participation.”

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He compared this outcome of the layered depth of electoral mobilisation and participation, as reminiscent of the fame and deft of the legendary Kashmiri artisanal weave.

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Kumar said that this active participation was a huge positive for the assembly elections to be held soon so that the democratic process continues to thrive in J&K.

The voter turnout of 50.86 percent from the three parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir echoes the faith of the people in the democratic process.

The poll participation percentage witnessed 30 points jump from the last Lok Sabha polls in 2019 where it was 19.16 percent.

The three parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir - Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anantnag-Rajouri recorded a voter turnout of 38.49 percent, 59.1 percent and 54.84 percent, which has been the highest in the last three decades.

The other two parliamentary constituencies in J&K - Udhampur and Jammu recorded 68.27 percent and 72.22 percent voter turnout.

The ECI said that the historic participation in J&K was realised by earnest efforts of the election and security officials who had worked tirelessly to empower the people of J&K, especially the youth to participate in the elections.

It said that more young people had asserted their faith and embraced democracy in a big way.

The ECI said that another interesting perspective is the electors in the age group of 18-59 years which forms the major part of electors in J&K.

It said that the high poll percentage in Lok Sabha polls was reflective of their faith in democracy, which was a positive and heartening development.

The ECI said that that commission also enabled Kashmiri migrant voters residing at various relief camps in Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur to also have the option of voting in person at designated special polling stations or using postal ballot.

It said that 21 special polling stations were established – 16 at Jammu, one at Udhampur, and four at Delhi.

The ECI said that as part of awareness and outreach, a wide range of activities were organised under the SVEEP programme in J&K for Lok Sabha elections.

The office of the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, organised adventure sports events, symposiums, awareness rallies, nukkad nataks, and numerous other events to propagate the message of voting. Amongst various efforts, activities included creating igloos as a dummy polling station in Baramulla, para scooter event in Kathua, sensitisation in Beating the Retreat ceremony on Suchetgarh border, mega awareness rally in Teetwal near the Line of Control (LoC), near Dal Lake in Srinagar to Chougan in Kishtwar and playing instrumental version of ECI song on highest railway bridge.

Musical programmes and activities were carried out at many places including Lal Chowk, Gulmarg, Kulgam, and Anantnag by famous singers.

Every nook and corner of J&K witnessed a rejuvenation of democracy and victory of the ballot with thumping participation in polling, resulting in a record voter turnout.

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