'Voted for towering personality who has guts to take on New Delhi'

Former finance minister Syed Altaf Bukhari Thursday stated that he voted for the “towering personality who has guts to stand up against New Delhi”.

Soon after casting his vote at a polling station set up in Tyndale Biscoe school here, Bukhari said people have to “send a towering personality to the Parliament who can defend their identity and safeguard the special status of J&K”.

“Today’s vote is important as the person for whom we vote has to represent us to defend our identity. He has to be the man of that stature and caliber who can stand up to the powers in Delhi, which are hell bent upon destroying our identity,” Bukhari told Greater Kashmir.

“We need to send a towering leader who can talk about Kashmir and who would be taken seriously as well,” he said.

He said the previous regime failed to come up to the expectations of the people, which proved costly for the state as many youth lost their lives and started hitting streets against the government.

“I am not associated with any party. It’s a reality that Dr Farooq is a towering leader among all candidates and should be sent to the Parliament. Farooq Abdullah is the best choice in Srinagar,” Bukhari said.

There was a festive mood in various polling booths in the Amira Kadal assembly segment. Long queues were seen at some polling stations, with several voters, including men and women, openly announcing their support for the National Conference.

“This time we support NC because we want our representative to be taken seriously in the Parliament,” said a group of young women voters.

At a polling station in SP college, voters from Chinar Bagh and Barbarshah areas were enthusiastic about casting their vote. Several voters here said they cast their votes against the BJP.

“I voted for Farooq Abdullah because he alone can defend Articles 35 A and 370. We need a representative in the Parliament who can raise the issue of attacks on Kashmiri students in states outside J&K,” said Shah-ul-Islam from Barbarshah.

“We don’t want to waste our vote because it will not benefit us. We are not casting our votes to get jobs or monetary benefits. We want to safeguard our identity and for this we need to send a daring personality to the Parliament. Farooq Abdullah is the best choice,” said Mushtaq Ahmad Tramboo from Chinar Bagh.

Two hundred nineteen out of 721 votes were polled at SP college polling station till 11.45am.

Meanwhile, polling stations set up in the animal husbandry department at Maisuma and Kothi Bagh higher secondary school witnessed a very low turnout, with voters largely staying away from the electoral exercise. Till 11.45am, only three votes were polled at Barrow Ghat polling station set up at the Kothi Bagh school.

“We have to get issues of sadak, bijli and pani resolved, and we should use our vote for the purpose. I always vote for National Conference,” said Abdul Ahad, one of the three voters, at Kothi Bagh school.