Out of 10 lakh voters, mere 31000 voted in recent ULB polls

Out of the total urban electorate of one million, just 31000 votes were polled in the recently held municipal elections in Kashmir, indicating a shrinking space for electoral politics in the valley.
Out of 10 lakh voters, mere 31000 voted in recent ULB polls
Representational Pic

Out of the total urban electorate of one million, just 31000 votes were polled in the recently held municipal elections in Kashmir, indicating a shrinking space for electoral politics in the valley.

The turnout amounts to 3.1 percent of the eligible electorate.  

According to official data, 31541 votes were polled in Kashmir valley during the 4-phased urban local body election held by the Governor's administration in October 2018. 

The exercise was seen as move by the state administration to revive electoral politics in Kashmir, which has suffered setback due to 2016 unrest triggered by the killing of Burhan Wani.

Mainstream political parties, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, stayed away from the electoral exercise citing repeated assaults by rightwing groups on Article 35A of India's Constitution.

Separatist groups had called for boycotting the polls.

According to official data, voter population for Kashmir's 40 urban local bodies was 1032498, with Srinagar Municipal Corporation alone having 6.63 lakh electorate. However, the total electorate of the areas which actually went to the polls in Kashmir was 714940, the data suggests.

Out of 40 urban local bodies in Kashmir, polling took place only in 14. In the remaining urban areas having more than 300,000 voters, there was no contest at all as either the candidates were elected unopposed or no candidates were in the fray.

The number of votes polled in the entire Kashmir valley was less than the total electorate of the smaller Municipal Councils of Baramulla, Sopore and Anantnag with eligible voter strength of 35727, 41228 and 47923 respectively.

The number of votes polled across the valley was almost 20 times less than the total electorate of Kashmir's biggest municipal body, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

The municipal polls recorded one of the lowest voter turnouts in Kashmir during the past three decades.

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