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Low Voter Turnout in J&K's Anantnag Reflects People's Anger And Resentment, Says Omar Abdullah

In the first phase of polls in the Anantnag Lok Sabhs seat on Tuesday, Bijbehara assembly segment recorded a voter turnout of 2.04% while the overall turnout was 13.61% in the constituency where polls are being held in three phases due to security reasons.

PTI

Updated:April 24, 2019, 10:37 PM IST
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Low Voter Turnout in J&K's Anantnag Reflects People's Anger And Resentment, Says Omar Abdullah
A file photo of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. (PTI)

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and New Delhi for low voter turnout in Tuesday's polling in Anantnag and said it was a message to all politicians that people do not like opportunistic politics.

"There is anger and resentment among the people and that is the reason that there was no voting in some areas," he told reporters at Kulgam in south Kashmir.

In the first phase of polls in the Anantnag Lok Sabhs seat Tuesday, Bijbehara assembly segment recorded a voter turnout of 2.04% while the overall turnout was 13.61% in the constituency where polls are being held in three phases due to security reasons.

"The way the people in Anantnag and Bijbehara expressed their anger, not only Delhi, but PDP leadership as well should think about the atrocities inflicted upon the people of the state in the last four-and-a-half, five years. I may not have seen such amount of disgruntlement and disillusionment in my life the way I am seeing today," he said.

Abdullah said perhaps not even a thousand votes were cast in the assembly segment Bijbehara, which former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti won in 2016 by a margin of around 12,000 votes.

"I think it is a lesson for all politicians that people do not like opportunistic politics. People will not support us (politicians) till we do not work for the benefit of the people and the benefit of the state," he said.

Abdullah, however, appealed to people to vote.

"I request the people not to sit at homes to express their resentment. Let them express their resentment through vote. They should vote for such a candidate who can talk about saving Article 370 and Article 35A," he said.

The NC leader said after the Tuesday's polling, it is evident that his party candidate Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi will succeed.

"Our competition is still with the Congress. I appeal to the people to see that Masoodi will not need anyone's permission to talk in Delhi. Whenever he will talk, he will raise the issues of the people here," he said.

"If the PDP is not getting votes in Anantnag or Bijbehara, then it is evident that people are angry because of the destruction in the last five years," he said.

Abdullah expressed hope that there would be a new government in Delhi after May 23, when counting of votes will take place.

Earlier, in separate public meetings at Chawalgam and Homeshalibug areas of Kulgam, Abdullah flayed Mebooba for "betraying, berating and squandering" the trust of people.

"The amount of disgruntlement and disillusionment of the people against Mehbooba can be gauged from the fact that a place from where she got a lead of 12,000 votes in 2016 elections only saw total 956 people cast their ballot," he said.

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