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Srinagar: A high stakes battle for PDP, National Conference

The National Conference believes Srinagar to be a safe seat for Farooq Abdullah, and that his opponents pose no threat to him. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 17, 2019, 01.08 PM (IST)

Srinagar is going to the polls for the second time in two years and this Lok Sabha constituency - comprising three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal – is scheduled to go for polls on April 18 in the second phase of the five-phased elections in the state.    

In 2017 by-election, only seven per cent voters turned out to exercise their franchise and during large scale violence, nine people died.

It was a relatively low key campaign in Srinagar with only Farooq Abdullah, who is seeking a fourth term in the lower house of Parliament from the seat, making his presence felt like a candidate.

Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns Aga Moshin of the PDP, Irfan Ansari of the People's Conference and Khalid Jehangir of the BJP.

An election official said there were only 46 rallies in Srinagar district, a city of over 12 lakh residents, during the campaign period.

The polling on April 18 will be keenly watched within and outside Kashmir as the constituency recorded an all-time low of 7.2 per cent voter turn out in 2017 bye-election, marred by violence on polling day that left nine persons dead and scores of others injured.

Stringent security measures have been put in place for the polling as additional security personnel have been deployed across the Srinagar constituency to ensure peaceful and smooth conduct of elections, the official said.

As many as 12,90,318 voters are eligible to cast their votes with authorities having set up 1,716 polling stations in the constituency. 

For migrant voters of the constituency, 26 polling stations have been set up with 21 in Jammu, one in Udhampur and four in New Delhi. 

The Lok Sabha polls are being held in seven-phases for 543 seats on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19, and counting will be on May 23.

Story highlights

Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns Aga Moshin of the PDP, Irfan Ansari of the People's Conference and Khalid Jehangir of the BJP.