Keeping its tradition intact of voting in whatever the circumstances, the Sumbal block in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district witnessed moderate to brisk voting for the first phase on Saturday while the same scenes were also witnessed from frontier Tulail and Gurez blocks of this district.
For the first phase, a total of 116 candidates were in fray, which included 21 DDC candidates, 16 Sarpanch and 79 Panch candidates while 32472 voters were to exercise their franchise.
Here the majority of the voters were of the view that the votes they cast are purely for the development purposes, not anything beyond and what the politicians were promising them.
As the sun rose on Saturday, the voters came in large numbers queuing outside the polling booths in Sumbal braving all the chill and dense fog, the scenes of moderate to large queues were witnessed at the majority of the polling booths here. In Nesbal village of Sumbal, men and women separately queued in the lawns of one of the polling booths set up in a Government Middle School.
For 42-year-old Siraj-u-din, a businessman, who looked slightly contrasting for not wearing a Pheran, says, “For not using this vote sets a trend for negative development.” Siraj is a regular voter but for the change, he says “qualified youth must be given a chance against those who are illiterate and can not speak thus affecting the overall development”.
In the same polling booth, 25-year-old OwaisMehraj, an engineering graduate, is casting his vote for the first time and the reason is all about local development.
“This DDC election is mainly for rural areas and everywhere we see these areas are lagging in development, our expectation from them would be the development of rural areas as the candidates have no such powers to bring back our special status,” Owais told the Greater Kashmir.
The total poll percentage of 43.57 per cent was recorded in this North Kashmir district for the first phase of DDC and Panchayat by-elections in Gurez, Tulail and Sumbal blocks till the last reports came in.