Shopian, Nov 9: The Wachi assembly segment where polling is being held in the fifth phase on December 13, includes 136 villages of Shopian district. Zainapora village named after Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin is part of this constituency while Jamia Siraj-ul-Uloom established by Jama'at-i-Islami over a vast portion of land, donated by noted Sufi saint Gulla Sahab Shopiani, falls in Imam Sahab village of this constituency. Jawahar Navodhaya Vidhyalaya of the Human Resources Development ministry is also situated in Aglar village of the constituency.
As many as 84 polling stations are being established for 68,388 voters of the constituency, including 33,126 females.
In 1996, the constituency had 45,260 voters and, according to government figures, recorded a voter turnout of 51 per cent. Mir Jabaar of National Conference defeated his Congress rival by getting 12,169 votes. Congress candidate Ghulam Hassan had polled 3113 votes while Ghulam Mustafa Malik of Janata Dal got 3039 and Awami League candidate Muhammad Ramzan Yatoo secured 2070 votes. Harday Nath Koul of BJP polled 1397 votes while 1391 votes were rejected.
As per official figures, the constituency however witnessed only 29% turnout in 2002. Among the total voter strength of 50,054 the 14,160 polled votes were shared by Muhammad Khalil Naikoo (CPIM) 4133, Ghulam Hassan Bhat (PDP) 4053, Ghulam Mustaffa Malik (LJSP) 670, Abdul Qayoom Shah (Congress) 2526, Nishata Akhter (NC) 2058 and HN Koul (BJP) 720. Thus left candidate Muhammad Khalil Naikoo's victory margin was just 80 votes.
Scores of villages in the constituency lack amenities like drinking water, electricity and healthcare. Road connectivity in inner areas is miserable. People blame representatives for the mess who according to them have never extended help beyond their own areas. Demands for creation of a Tehsil headquarter either at Zainapora, Imamsahab, Hermain or Wachi have remained unheard despite massive public protests.
The constituency remained a hot bed of ongoing turmoil and the administration has declared all its 84 polling booths as hyper-sensitive. SSP Shopian, Javaid Iqbal, told Greater Kashmir that declaration of all polling stations as hyper-sensitive was on the basis of three points i.e security, chances of booth capturing and apprehensions of clashes among supporters of contesting candidates. It is learnt that 13 candidates are so far ready to contest elections in this sensitive belt and according to the administration all arrangements will be made for smooth and incident-free polls in the constituency.
Two former MLAs of National Conference, Ghulam Qadir Wani and his son Nazir Ahmad Wani, have fallen to the bullets of gunmen in the area besides a defeated candidate of Congress, Gulshan Qadri, and Muhammad Jamal Wagay, a worker of PDP.
Militant ranks have also suffered heavy losses while government-sponsored gunmen also killed many veteran pro-freedom leaders and activists. Safanagri village of the constituency witnessed a bloodshed by para-military BSF in 1992 during which 12 civilians were killed by the troopers.
1977 Ghulam Qadir Wani National Conference
1983 Ghulam Qadir Wani National Conference
1987 Nazir Ahmad Wani National Conference
1996 Muhammad Jabar Mir National Conference
2002 Muhammad Khalil Naikoo CPI (M)