Amidst tight security measures, Srinagar Lok Sabha seat will go to the poll tomorrow to decide the fate of 12 candidates, including NC President Farooq Abdullah and PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra. Srinagar Parliamentary constituency is spread over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal.
Abdullah, whose National Conference has won the seat every time barring 1971 and 1996 when it did not contest the polls, is seeking re-election from the constituency. The Union Minister is pitted against 11 others, the most formidable among them being former state Finance Minister Karra.
The Srinagar Lok Sabha seat has 12.31 lakh voters including 5.72 lakh women who are eligible to cast their votes at 1546 polling stations. Of the 1546 polling stations, only 3.5 per cent have been declared as normal. According to security agencies, 1021 polling stations have been declared as hypersensitive and 470 as sensitive. Eighteen polling stations have been set up for migrant voters of the Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi. While 13 polling stations have been set up in Jammu, one has been set up in Udhampur and four in Delhi to facilitate the migrant Kashmiri Pandits to exercise their franchise.
The Srinagar Parliamentary constituency has registered a low voter turnout ever since the eruption of militancy in the state in 1990. In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the turnout was only 25.55 per cent while in the preceding election, it was a dismal 18 per cent.
The campaigning for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat was by and large peaceful. However, two mysterious explosions near the venue of National Conference election rallies in Magam area in Budgam and Khanyar in Srinagar on Sunday triggered panic, prompting security forces to beef up security.