|'We voted for bijli, sadak, paani' |
|S Tahir-ul Haq|
Early Times Report
BARAMULLA, Dec 4: Seventh phase of Panchayat polls ended peacefully Tuesday, with most of the voters saying they voted because they have been deprived of basic amenities.
There are dozens of villages in the frontier district of Kupwara that are lacking motorable roads and drinking water facilities in this 21st century, Javid Ahmad of Trehgam told Early Times.
People in general from all the three districts of this north Kashmir said that "roads lead to developments, safe drinking water keeps you healthy and safe, and when such things are missing, should we call it a development about which government is making tall claims?"
"We took part in the Panchayat elections because people don't need government jobs, but at least we can provide them the basic amenities of life, like good roads, drinking water, and uninterrupted electricity," said one of the contesting candidates in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district.
He said, "In the past we have been witnessing that the people at the helm of affairs have failed to provide basic necessities of life to the rural masses. That is why we took a stand to fight for the welfare of people. Though there will be some challenges for us, that will not stop us at all."
An officer on election duty said that the seventh phase of Panchayat polls began at 8 am across the state and continued till 2 pm.
Some of the areas in north Kashmir were considered as hypersensitive and for that tight security arrangement were put in place to ensure smooth conduct of free and fare polls, said the official, adding that additional companies of paramilitary forces were deployed to ensure smooth polling.
Kupwara again recorded the highest voter turnout of 45%, Bandipora 25.2% and Baramulla 17.8%. In six blocks of north Kashmir including Trehgam, Qadriabad, Qaziabad, in Kupwara district, Naidkhai in Bandipora, Rafiabad and Pattan in Baramulla district people came out to cast their votes.
Overall, 75.3 per cent polling was witnessed across Jammu and Kashmir in the seventh phase of Panchayat Polls.