'For a change': Centenarian woman casts vote in north Kashmir's Tangmarg

Zaina Begum after casting her vote for DDC polls in Tangmarg on Saturday. Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Confident that her vote will usher in a change, a 100-year-old woman stood in a queue at a polling station in Tangmarg in north Kashmir to exercise her franchise in the first phase of district development council (DDC) polls on Saturday.

“I voted. I am hopeful that my vote will bring a change this time,” said 100-year-old Zaina Begum outside the pooling booth in Nadrigund area.

Begum said that she has been voting for the past many years. “But this time I voted because we will be in direct contact with the DDC poll candidates and they can take our grievances to the higher authorities,” she said.

“In the Assembly elections, most of the times we are unable to reach out to the ministers but these polls are very different,” said Begum, who said that she voted for an independent candidate.

Begum said that she voted for the development of her area. “There are many problems like lack of electricity, water, bad roads and others. We want such issues to be addressed,” she said.

Her grandson Danish Parray who also voted said that her grandmother’s priority is the development of their village. “But I voted for a government job as we don’t have any employment opportunities here,” he said.

The eight-phase DDC polls are the first elections in Jammu and Kashmir since it was reorganised as a union territory last year after the abrogation of its special status, and it is being held along with bypolls to panchayats.