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North Kashmir preps for high-stakes parliamentary clash

Baramulla district has seven assembly segments – Sopore, Rafiabad, Uri, Baramulla, Gulmarg, Wagoora-Kreeri, and Pattan.
12:59 AM Mar 26, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
north kashmir preps for high stakes parliamentary clash
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Srinagar, Mar 25: North Kashmir’s parliamentary constituency is gearing up for a political battle for Lok Sabha (LS) elections as a staggering 17.30 lakh voters, including 8.72 lakh male, 8.58 lakh female, and 34 third gender waiting to exercise their franchise on May 20.

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These also include 14,879 Persons with Disability (PwDs).

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While the Peoples Conference headed by Sajad Gani Lone has announced his name from the party to contest from the north Kashmir parliament constituency for LS elections, other political parties are yet to announce the names of the candidates.

However, all the political parties have started their political campaigning for the upcoming LS elections.

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National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah earlier said that their party has started the political campaigning and would announce the names of the candidates “at the right time”.

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The suspense continues to loom over the candidates of other prominent outfits like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Apni Party, and the newly formed Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP).

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As per the Election Commission’s data, 1828 polling stations have been designated across the three districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, and Bandipora that fall under the redrawn boundaries of the Baramulla parliamentary constituency after delimitation.

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“Following the issuance of the notification for LS elections, we have made all the arrangements for the elections. We have already deliberated upon the dos and don’ts with the representatives of the political parties,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Minga Sherpa told Greater Kashmir.

The Baramulla parliament constituency has 16 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.

In Bandipora district, it has three Assembly segments – Sonwari, Bandipora, and Gurez (ST).

DC Bandipora Shakeel-ul-Rehman Rather earlier said that of the 312 polling stations set up in the district, 282 had been declared critical based on voter turnout while 30 had been categorised as critical based on vulnerability.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baramulla, Amod Ashok Nagpure told Greater Kashmir that comprehensive deployment arrangements had been made for election-related activities while a requisition had been submitted to MHA for CAPF besides deployment of J&K Police and state armed forces was already in place.

"Over 30 flying squads and static surveillance teams are already operational. All the polling stations in the district have been categorised as critical,” he said.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kupwara, Shobhit Saxena said that all the security arrangements have been put in place for the LS election.

“Our objective is to ensure a peaceful election with a maximum turnout,” Saxena said.

Notably, J&K is set to witness its first major electoral battle since it was bifurcated and downgraded to the status of Union Territory, months after the parliamentary elections in 2019.

J&K has a total of five Lok Sabha seats – three of which are currently with the NC and two with the BJP.

J&K has been under central rule since the fall of the PDP-BJP government in June 2018.

The last assembly polls were held in J&K in 2014.

A significant development since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, was the delimitation exercise completed in May 2022 as part of the J&K Reorganisation Act.

It revised the boundaries of 90 assembly and five parliamentary constituencies.

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