DDC Polls|Water, women empowerment on voters' mind in south Kashmir constituencies

At 7 am, Ghulam Muhammad showed up at a polling station in Saidpora village of south Kashmir’s Shopian to cast his vote.

The water scarcity of the past many years in his village brought him to the polling station in the early morning amid biting cold.

“We brought the issue to the notice of the authorities umpteen time but to no avail. Now, I feel that vote is the only means to get the issue resolved,” Muhammad said displaying his finger-stained with purple election ink.

The major issues which dominated the second leg of polling here included development.

During this phase, polling was held in the District Development Council (DDC) constituencies of Ramnagri and Kanjiullar segments.

A total of 33 candidates were in the fray for both the DDC and the Panchayat posts.  Of them, two women candidates were contesting for Ramnagri DDC seat reserved for women.

“From toilets to domestic violence, we face a host of issues. I am voting for women empowerment,” said a young woman in Ramnagri, who did not wish to be named.

In Vehil village, people mostly steered clear of polling stations.

According to an official, while the district recorded a voter turnout of 17.18 percent polling in both Ramnagri and Kanjiullar BDC segments, at least four polling stations did not witness any voting.

The neighbouringKulgam district recorded a turnout of 29.81 percent for Pambay and Manzgam blocks.

Ghulam Hassan Sheikh, a voter in Mirhama village, said that he voted after a candidate promised better houses and other facilities for the community.

“We are badly off. I hope our candidate at least gets us free ration and some government aid to build concrete houses,” he said.

Another voter said that he voted for the effective implementation of government schemes.

“The government has launched many schemes for the poor and downtrodden but they hardly reach to us. I have voted for a change,” he said.

In MirwaniManzgam village, the voters flocked Government Middle School and a panchayat building housing polling stations to exercise their franchise.

In nearby Tangram village, droves of electorates thronged the polling stations to cast their votes.