SRINAGAR: Over 6.5 per cent of the 13.12 lakh electorate cast their votes Thursday in the first two hours of polling in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The seven assembly segments in Baramulla district registered a turnout of 5.8 per cent in the first two hours of polling which began at 7 am, the officials said.
They said Bandipora district, which has three assembly segments, recorded a poll percentage of nearly six per cent during the corresponding period while Kupwara recorded a turnout of eight per cent so far.
Baramulla constituency will send a first time parliamentarian to the Lok Sabha as none of the nine candidates in the fray have earlier been elected to either Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
Those in the fray include Muhammad Akbar Lone of National Conference, Farooq Ahmad Mir of Congress, Raja Aijaz Ali of People’s Conference, Mohammad Maqbool War of BJP, Jahangir Khan of NPP, Abdul Qayoom Wani of PDP and independent candidates Javid Ahmad Qureshi, Syed Najeeb Shah Naqvi and Abdul Rashid Sheikh.
PPD stalwart Muzaffar Hussain Baig had won the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Baramulla constituency but he chose not to seek re-election this time. Baig had defeated his nearest rival Sharief-ud-Din Shariq of National Conference by a margin of 29219 votes.
While the 2014 elections in this north Kashmir constituency was a virtual head on contest between PDP and NC, a multi-cornered contest is expected this time around with emergence of People’s Conference as the third regional force in Kashmir.
Former MLA from Langate Abdul Rashid Sheikh’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls has spiced up the contest as former IAS officer Shah Faesal has extended support of his newly former Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement to him.
Baramulla Lok Sabha is spread over 15 assembly segments in three districts of north Kashmir.
Authorities have established 1749 polling stations at 1387 locations for over 13.12 lakh voters to exercise their franchise. (AGENCIES)