State Times News Srinagar: The election campaign in Anantnag district, which is a part of the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency going to polls in three phases, ended on Sunday as nearly 5.30 lakh voters will register their choice of the representative on Tuesday. “The election campaigning in Anantnag district came to an end this (Sunday) evening but will continue in Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts which form the Lok Sabha constituency,” an election official said. He said the electioneering in the district remained by and large peaceful. Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency is spread over four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama with 16 assembly segments. The Lok Sabha polls to the constituency are being held in three phases due to security reasons. While Anantnag district will go to polls on Tuesday, voting in Kulgam district will be on April 29. Pulwama and Shopian districts will go to polls on May 6. The Election Commission has curtailed the polling duration for Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency by two hours following a request from the state police to this effect. The polling will be held in south Kashmir areas from 7 am to 4 am. The Election Commission has set-up 1,842 polling stations to facilitate smooth polling, the official said. The constituency has 13,97,272 registered voters, including 7,20,337 males, 672879 females and 35 transgenders. Anantnag district has 5,29,256 electors, including 2,69,603 males, 257540 females, 2102 service electors and 11 transgender voters. For the smooth polling, the EC has set-up 714 polling stations in the district. There are 18 candidates in the fray for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, including PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. The Congress has fielded its state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, while former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi is contesting on the National Conference ticket. The other candidates in the fray include former MLC Sofi Yousuf (BJP), Nisar Ahmad Wani (National Panthers Party), Zaffar Ali (People’s Conference), Sanjay Kumar Dhar (Manav Adhikar Party) and Surinder Singh (Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party).
Independent candidates contesting the elections include Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather, Ridwana Sanam, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, Zubair Masoodi, Shamas Khwaja, Ali Mohammad Wani, Gh Mohammad Wani, Kyasir Ahmed Shiekh, Manzoor Ahmed Khan and Mirza Sajad Hussain Beigh.
Meanwhile, the Returning Officer (RO) Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency, Khalid Jahangir reviewed the final preparedness for the smooth conduct of parliamentary elections conducted in the district on April 23, 2019.
The RO stressed upon the officers that they should put in best their efforts to ensure that elections are conducted in the smooth and fair manner in accordance with Election Commission of India (ECI) directions. He emphasized that proper implementation of the plans be ensured so that no room is left for any laxity or lapses.
Zonal and Sectoral Magistrates were re-sensitized that they shall ensure assured minimum facilities (AMU), arrangements for polling parties, conduct of mock poll, carrying of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as per standard operating procedure, maintenance of law and order, keep close watch on the situation and also ensure that no intimidation to voters, booth capturing or any other malpractice takes place. The concerned officers were asked to ensure strict adherence to all the aspects of these plans and directed for the timely, safe and secure induction and re-induction of polling parties according to Standard Operating Procedure.
The AROs were directed that dispatch centres must be properly organised. All the officers were directed to work with dedication and zeal and handle the election process in a meticulous, professional and efficient manner to ensure peaceful, free fair and transparent elections.
The meeting was attended by Narash Thakral General Observer for Bijbehara and Pahalgam constituencies, Daljitsingh Manget General Observer for Dooru and Anantnag, Rajvee Sharma General Observer for Kokernag and Shangus, Ajay Kumar Tripati Police Observer, DIG CRPF Mohsin Shaheedi, SSP Anantnag Altaf Ahmad Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Deputy District Election Officer, AROs of Anantnag, Nodal Officers, Zonal Magistrates & Sectoral Magistrates.
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