Record-breaking voting reflective of new J&K under Modi’s leadership: Ravinder Raina

JAMMU — The record-breaking turnout in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections in all five constituencies is reflective of the new Jammu and Kashmir under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, senior BJP leader Ravinder Raina said on Sunday.

Raina, the president of Jammu and Kashmir BJP, said his party is fully prepared for the much awaited assembly elections and expressed hope that the latest trend of voter turnout, especially in Kashmir Valley, would continue in the upcoming elections which will also cover local bodies.

With the conclusion of voting in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat on Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir has registered an unprecedented 58.11 per cent polling in its five parliamentary constituencies, which was highest in the past 35 years.

Udhampur Lok Sabha seat was the first to go to polls on April 19, recording 68 per cent turnout followed by Jammu which recorded 69.1 percent on April 26.

In Kashmir, Srinagar witnessed 38 per cent polling on May 13 which was the second highest in three decades, while the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency registered an all time high voter turnout of 58.17 per cent on May 20. Anantnag-Rajouri also recorded around 53 per cent polling.

“The bumper voting by enthusiastic people is the proof of new Jammu and Kashmir which is treading on the path of peace, prosperity, brotherhood and development under the leadership of Modi whose government was able to create a sense of security in the hearts and minds of the local population,” Raina told reporters here.

Referring to the separatist sponsored poll boycott campaigns, he said that it was heartening to see the parties and their leaders who used to call for boycott of the elections in the past were the ones who came forward and voted with fervour in this election.

“In a democracy, vote is the most powerful weapon in the hands of the people to choose their representatives…The new picture of J&K will have a bearing on the overall politics in the coming years,” he said.

Raina said though the two seats of Jammu region have always recorded high voter turnout, the change in the polling pattern in Kashmir is highly appreciable.

“We hope that the new trend of high voter turnout will continue during the upcoming assembly, District Development Council, Block Development Council, Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections,” he added.

Asserting the “BJP is fully prepared for the assembly elections”, Raina said, “In fact, we wanted to have both parliamentary and assembly elections together but the Election Commission took a decision taking into account the security considerations.”

“They have made it clear to hold the assembly elections after the completion of the Lok Sabha polls in the country,” he added.

The BJP leader expressed his gratitude to the Election Commission, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer, the civil administration and all security agencies for ensuring incident free culmination of the elections in the Union Territory.

He hoped that both successful and unsuccessful candidates would make their positive contribution to further strengthen democracy, brotherhood and peaceful atmosphere in the region. — (PTI)