Braving erratic weather, first time voters pose for selfies with inked fingers in Udhampur LS constituency


‘Voted for a representative who will serve us, raise our issues in Parliament’


KATHUA, Apr 19: Braving the inclement weather, the first-time voters and future leaders of Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur Lok Sabha took the ownership of democratic process by exercising their franchise.

The thrilled first time voters contributed their part after casting first vote for electing the member parliament from the list of 12 contesting candidates in the fray for the seat. Kathua-Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency spread across five districts and 18 assembly constituencies comprising diverse geographical landscapes like plains and snow-clad mountains.

Braving all the challenges, especially erratic weather, the young voters were among the people who visited their respective polling booths early hours despite adverse weather and heavy rains.

After getting the fingers inked, the excited young voters were seen clicking selfies and making reels for social media posts at especially decorated booths by the district administration. There are a total of 84,468 potential first-time voters of which 45,825 are men, 38,641 are women and two are third genders.

The first time voters were seen at the polling booths with smiles and confidence on their faces and posting selfies on social media accounts. They were quite excited about the different procedures that are followed before the voter is allowed to press the button in the EVM.

“It was my first vote. I was so excited from last one week, particularly from the day when BLO delivered my voting slip at home. Today morning I came here with my grandmother and was excited to see my name was finely included in the voting list,” said Ramanpreet Kaur, from Kathua, adding, “Now we also able to choose our representative by comparing the merits and demerits of all candidates”.

Another voter from Udhampur, Kushi said, “We saw many changes around us in the past few years. Many positive things happened while many decisions were not consulted with local population. Here is my first vote for choosing a representative, who becomes our voice in the parliament”.

“Voting for the first time is a great feeling as well as responsibility. I am equally excited to cast my first vote for the development of my area,” said Randeep Kumar of Hiranagar village. Along with these first-time voters were some who despite being in their mid-20’s voted for the first time.

“I was 17 years and a few months old when last election (2019) was held. I was very sad because my name was not included in the voters list. However, this time I ensured that my name is included, and I went to the polling booth and got that indelible ink mark on my first finger and I am thrilled”, said Rohit Sharma of Basholi.

Many newlyweds couples were also turned up for voting in wedding costumes at a polling station across the constituency.

After casting his first vote in Udhampur, overjoyed Ashish Kumar said, “I have voted for a candidate I think can work for the development of the district and the country.

According to election officials, voting was going on peacefully across the constituency with heavy rainfall being reported in Kathua district since this morning.

Udhampur, Doda, Kishtwar, Kathua and Ramban districts will decide fate of 12 candidates, including Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh of the BJP, Congress candidate Choudhary Lal Singh and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) nominee Ghulam Mohammad Saroori—(KNO)


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