Nine counting centres set up for five LS seats in J&K one in Delhi

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Jammu, ( CNI) With two days left for the declaration of results of the Lok Sabha polls, nine centres have been set up counting of votes in five Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Sunday.


In addition, one counting centre has also been set up in Delhi for the counting of Kashmiri migrant votes which were polled by the displaced community at specially set up polling stations in Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seats, they said.


The counting of votes, scheduled for Tuesday, also covering Udhampur and Jammu parliamentary seats in J-K, will decide the fate of 100 candidates, including senior BJP leader and Union minister Jitendra Singh, two former chief ministers – Omar Abdullah of National Conference (NC) and Mehbooba Mufti of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


The other bigwigs include former ministers Raman Bhalla and Choudhary Lal Singh of Congress, GM Saroori of DPAP, Aga Ruhullah Mehdi and Mian Altaf of NC, Ashraf Mir of Apni Party, Sajjad Lone of Peoples Conference. Former MLA Engineer Rashid is fighting from Tihar Jail.


Officials said all arrangements including security and deployment of staff have been made at all the 10 counting centres.


The Combined Voter Turnout (VTR) at the polling stations for the entire Union territory (five Lok Sabha seats) was 58.46 per cent – the highest poll participation in the last 35 years.


The voter turnout of 50.86 per cent from the three parliamentary constituencies in the Kashmir Valley witnessed a jump of 30 percentage points from the 2019 general elections when it was 19.16 per cent.


Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri in the valley recorded VTR of 38.49 per cent, 59.1 per cent and 54.84 percent respectively, which has been highest in the last three decades. The other two constituencies in the UT, namely Udhampur and Jammu in the Jammu region, recorded 68.27 per cent and 72.22 per cent voter turnout respectively.


The counting of votes in Udhampur constituency where Union minister Jitendra Singh is seeking his third consecutive term will be held at government degree college, Kathua.


Apart from Singh, there are 11 other candidates that includes Lal Singh, also a two-time former MP, and GM Saroori in the fray. Seven of the candidates are independents.


The counting of votes in Baramulla constituency will be held in Government Degree College (Boys), Baramulla. Omar Abdullah is pitted against 21 candidates in the constituency, prominent among them being Lone and Rashid. Among the 14 independents who are contesting in the seat, two are women.


In Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, divided by the mighty Pir Panjal range, officials said the counting of votes will be held at Government Degree College (Boys) Anantnag and Government PG College Rajouri. Mehbooba Mufti is seeking a victory from this constituency and is facing a major challenge from NC’s Mian Altaf.


There are also 10 independents and eight other candidates, including the BJP-supported Apni Party’s Zaffar Manhas.


The counting of votes in Srinagar parliamentary constituency, which has the highest number of 24 candidates, including 16 independents, will take place at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Cent (SKICC) along the banks of Dal Lake. NC’s Ruhullah, Mir of Apni Party and PDP youth leader Waheed Para are the strong candidates from the constituency.


Counting of votes for the Jammu constituency, where BJP’s Jugal Kishore is eyeing a hat-trick of wins, will be carried out at the premises comprising Government Polytechnic College and Government MAM college. Raman Bhalla, the working president of the J&K unit of Congress, is among the 21 other candidates in the fray from the seat.


Officials said counting of Kashmiri migrant votes will take place at Government College for Women Gandhi Nagar, Jammu, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Udhampur and J&K House, New Delhi.

J-K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pandurang K Pole had a comprehensive review of preparedness of the districts ahead of the final counting of votes at Nirvachan Bhawan here on Saturday, they said.


The meeting was attended by all the District Election Officers along with the concerned Assistant Returning Officers (ARO) and ARO Migrants (Jammu, Udhampur, and Delhi).


The Returning Officers apprised the CEO of the arrangements in place for counting of votes, particularly the issuance of passes, security arrangements at the centres, welfare provisions for polling personnel and arrangement of facilitation centres for the media as well as contesting candidates and their counting agents, officials said.


Stressing the need for a smooth and incident-free counting process, the CEO directed the districts to properly train and sensitise the personnel involved in counting so that proper discipline and decorum at the counting centres is maintained.


He also asked the districts to ensure installation of CCTV cameras besides making appropriate arrangements for videography at the counting centres.(CNI)

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