Kargil, Leh witness good turnout

National Conference says it’s a superimposed election; BJP claims victory of democracy
In contrast with the scene in Kashmir, voters queued up outside polling booths in large numbers in Kargil and Leh towns in Ladakh, with 78.2% and 55.2% casting their vote, respectively, in the first phase of the urban local body polls. The Jammu Municipal Corporation in the winter capital of Jammu recorded a 61.92% turnout, with women and young voters outnumbering aged voters in many booths. Poonch in the the Pir Panjal Valley saw a 73.1% turnout and Rajouri 81%. National Conference spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said the whole process had been superimposed on the State “without taking into consideration the ground realities”. “The exercise has turned out to be a crude joke. In most wards, people don’t know who is contesting. The names of candidates were never released by the Election Commission. Is this what their idea of democracy is,” he added. “Civic elections provide an opportunity to elect representatives for day-to-day local issues and decentralises governance. I hope elected local representatives help in strengthening the modes of governance,” said Peoples Conference (PC) chief and MLA Handwara, Sajad Gani Lone, who also cast his vote. Referring to the boycott call of the Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference, Mr. Lone, considered an ally of the BJP, said, “Confining boycott selectively to grassroots democracy is cruel. These parties have different yardsticks for Assembly and Parliament elections. My party has boycotted elections for more than 20 years in the past and the futility and disadvantages of boycott are well-established. Let them boycott now and give up their privileges.” BJP State general secretary Ashok Koul said people had rejected the two regional parties. “The polling percentage today was victory of democracy,” he said.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/kargil-leh-witness-good-turnout/article25162021.ece

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