Srinagar Set for Showdown

Srinagar Set for Showdown

17.41 lakh voters await candidates in high-stakes parliamentary poll

However, the key players have remained tight-lipped about their choices for this prestigious seat.

National Conference (NC), part of the INDI Alliance and currently holding the Srinagar seat through veteran leader and former chief minister, Farooq Abdullah, is yet to make an official announcement on their candidate.

Similarly, the suspense continues to loom over the candidates of other prominent outfits like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Apni Party, Peoples Conference (PC), and the newly formed Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP).

As per the Election Commission’s data, 2135 polling stations have been designated across the four districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Budgam, and Shopian that fall under the redrawn boundaries of the Srinagar parliamentary constituency after delimitation.

“We are fully prepared to conduct free and fair polling at all 2135 stations. Adequate security arrangements are also in place,” an official said.

Political pundits suggest that given the substantial 17.41 lakh electorate, including 11,517 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), parties are carefully strategising on the optimal candidates to field to maximise their chances.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, NC’s Farooq Abdullah won the Srinagar seat by a margin of 69,976 votes, securing 1,06,596 votes.

The runner-up was Aga Syed Mohsin of the PDP.

However, the tides had turned in 2014 when Tariq Hameed Karra of the PDP emerged victorious with 1,57,923 votes, defeating Abdullah who was the runner-up.

J&K is set to witness its first major electoral battle since it was bifurcated and downgraded to the status of union territory, months after the general elections in 2019.

J&K has a total of 5 Lok Sabha seats – three of which are currently with the NC and two with the BJP.

J&K has been under central rule since the fall of the PDP-BJP government in June 2018.

The last assembly polls were held in J&K in 2014.

A significant development since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, was the delimitation exercise completed in May 2022 as part of the J&K Reorganisation Act.

It revised the boundaries of 90 assembly and five parliamentary constituencies.

The Lok Sabha polls in J&K would be held in the first five of the seven-phased elections: April 19 (Udhampur), April 26 (Jammu), May 7 (Anantnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar), and May 20 (Baramulla).

The results would be announced on June 4

 

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