The second phase of polling in Jammu & Kashmir passed off peacefully , as a record 72% people voted on Tuesday defying frosty weather and separatist boycott call. A turnout of 60.03% was recorded in 2008 across the 18 constituencies that went to the polls. Chief electoral officer Umang Narula said the highest turnout was recorded in Jammu's Gulabgarh (80.73%).
Homeshalibung in south Kashmir witnessed the lowest turnout -36.50%. A turnout of 71% was recorded in the first phase of polling last week. Ghulam Hassan Dar, a 52-year-old Homeshalibugh farmer, blamed broken promises for the low turnout. “We are fedup with polling now. Politicians come, promise and leave for six years. Besides, our youth are influenced by separatism.“ The mood is north Kashmir was different, where Abdul Rahman War of Handwara said voters flocked to polling booths despite freezing weather. “Voters could not come out of their homes before 8 am. But started doing so as the day progressed,'' he said, add ing that they voted for change and hoped the new government would not break promises. Ex-separatist Sajad Lone is contesting from Handwara, where he is up against ruling National Conference's Chowdary Ramzan. He said he was optimistic about his win. “I congratulate people for showing wisdom and voting out NC and PDP candidates,'' he said.
He assured his People's Conference would work for the area's development. “I congratulate my workers for a victory , which by all indications is ours.“