Voting begins in Anantnag, Mehbooba Mufti protests, alleges “Workers being locked up in police stations”

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Amid the polling for the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti held a protest alleging that the police have detained her party’s polling agents and workers without any reason.

Mufti is in the electoral fray for the Anantnag-Rajouri seat against National Conference (NC) candidate Mian Altaf Ahmad and Zafar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party.

Mufti said, “PDP workers are being locked up in police stations without any reason. DG, LG, all officials from top to bottom are involved in this. They have locked up PDP polling agents in police stations. You had said that there will be free and fair elections but you are doing all this. Complaints are being received from places where efforts are being made to tamper the machines (EVMs).”

On Friday, Mufti wrote to the Election Commission with a complaint claiming that her workers had been wrongfully detained on the eve of the elections

“Many of our PDP polling agents & workers are being detained just before voting. When the families went to the police stations they are being told that its being done at the behest of SSP Anantnag & DIG South Kashmir. We’ve written to @ECISVEEP
hoping for their timely intervention,” she claimed.

Earlier, the Election Commission had revised the date of polling in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency from May 7 to May 25 after it received representations to reschedule the date of polling due to various issues about “logistics, communication and natural barriers of connectivity.”
In the first general elections in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, the voting has already concluded on the seats of Jammu, Baramulla, Srinagar and Udhampur.

This is also the first election in Anantnag-Rajouri after the delimitation exercise in 2022, which saw the region of Poonch and Rajouri being combined into the constituency.

In the fifth phase, the Baramulla parliamentary constituency of Jammu and Kashmir recorded a voter turnout of 55.79 per cent. As per the ECI, this is the highest voter turnout recorded in the constituency in the last 8 Lok Sabha elections in 35 years.

Prior to this, the Srinagar constituency also recorded its highest voter turnout since 199 with over 38 per cent. (ANI)

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