Festive atmosphere as enthusiastic voters queue up in J&K’s Kathua-Udhampur

 As voting picked up across the Kathua-Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency on Friday, enthusiastic voters came out wearing traditional dresses to exercise their franchise.

In typical Dogri style, long queues of male voters wearing Dogri turbans and women in Dogri style sarees lined up outside different polling stations in Ramnagar, Udhampur, Basohli, Chennai, Bani, Hira Nagar, Jasrota, etc.

Male voters at different polling stations said that the females of the family were completing their daily chores in the morning and were expected to come out in large numbers in the afternoon to cast their votes.

Abdul Rashid, 65, was the first to cast his vote at the Banihal polling station. Polling stations in different parts of Kathua, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Doda, and Ramban districts wore a festive look as security forces and the poll staff at these places welcomed the voters most courteously.

Elderly people were assisted by the security personnel while poll staff greeted them as they entered the polling stations at different places.

The entire voting process looked like a big festival as voters came out to participate in the democratic exercise.

There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere during the first two hours of voting.

The election office said till 9 a.m. since the voting started at 7 a.m. in all the 2,647 polling stations, 10.43 per cent of voting was recorded in the constituency.

The election office released the following figures of polling at different voting segments at the end of the first two hours: Bani – 8.79 per cent Banihal – 6.71 per cent, Basohli – 9.86 per cent, Bhaderwah -,9.60 per cent, Bilawar – 11.04 per cent, Chenani – 9.87 per cent, Doda – 9.97 per cent, Doda West – 10.75 per cent, Hiranagar – 10.70 per cent, Inderwal – 13.73 per cent, Jasrota – 10.67 per cent, Kathua (SC) – 12.33 per cent, Kishtwar – 11.88 per cent, padder-nagseni – 13.84 per cent, Ramban – 9.71 per cent, Ramnagar (sc) – 11.31 per cent, Udhampur East-11.93 per cent, and Udhampur West – 9.08 per cent.

The overall voting percentage in the first two hours was 10.43.

Dr Jitendra Singh of the BJP is seeking re-election from this constituency for the third time. His main opponent is Chaudhary Lal Singh of the Congress. There are 12 candidates in the fray in this constituency.

There are 16,23,195 voters (male 845283, female 7,77,899 and third gender 13) in the constituency.

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