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First phase of voting begins in Kashmir, Jammu

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Srinagar: Small queues of voters were seen in many polling booths early on Thursday morning in north Kashmir districts constituting Baramulla Lok Sahba seat where 13,08,541 electors including 6,74,417 males, 6,34,083 females and 41 belonging to the third gender are entitled to vote and seal fate of nine candidates are in fray.
Voting started at 7 a.m.. It will end at 6 p.m.
The Baramulla parliamentary constituency, spread over 15 assembly segments of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts has 7,953 persons with disability (PwD) voters and 157 VVIP (Voter Verification and Information Programme) electors.
For the smooth conduct of elections, the authorities have established 1,749 polling stations at 1,387 locations in the Baramulla constituency.
Returning Officer for Baramulla Parliamentary Constituency Dr G N Itoo informed that 9 candidates are in the fray for the seat.
Prominent among them are Mohammad Akbar Lone of the NC, Abdul Qayoom Wani of the PDP, Haji Farooq Ahamd Mir of the Congress and Jahangir Khan of the NPP.
Reports from Jammu said there was low to moderate voting in Jammu where 20,05,730 voters including 10,40,876 males and 9,64,834 females are entitled to cast their franchise at 2,740 polling stations to decide the political fate of 24 candidates.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Jugal Kishore is seeking re-election from the seat, while the Congress has fielded its senior vice president and former minister Raman Bhalla who is supported by the National Conference (NC).
The constituency, spread over four districts of Jammu, Samba, Poonch and Rajouri and covering 20 assembly segments, was won by Kishore in the 2014 general elections, defeating veteran Congress leader and two-time MP Madan Lal Sharma by a margin of over 2.57 lakh votes.
Kishore is facing a tough contest this time as the NC is backing the Congress candidate, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decided not to field any candidate to ensure that the “secular votes” are not divided.


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