Amid unprecedented security, polling started on Tuesday for the first phase of the three-phased Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir, election officials said.
Polling began at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m.
Heavy deployment of THE Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and state police has been made to secure the polling stations and provide safety to the voters.
Security forces are also deployed along roads and hillside areas overlooking the polling stations to prevent militants from disrupting the poll process.
Mobile Internet facility and train services have been suspended for the day as a precautionary measure.
Very few people were seen at the 714 polling stations set up for 5,23,566 voters in six polling segments of Bijbehara, Pahalgam, Shangus, Anantnag, Kokernag and Dooru.
Poll authorities have set up 26 polling stations outside the valley for Kashmiri Pandit migrant voters.
Of these, 21 have been set up in Jammu, four in Delhi and one in Udhampur district.
Mehbooba Mufti, the Peoples Democratic Party President, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, state President of the Congress, Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference, Sofi Yusuf of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chowdhury Zafar Ali of the People’s Conference are in the fray in this constituency.
A lawyer from Uttar Pradesh, Shams Khwaja and a lone female candidate, Ridwana Sanam are also in the run.
Here are some interesting facts about this phase:
* 116 Lok Sabha constituencies across 14 states and 2 UTs headed for polls
* Third phase is biggest as it covers 116 parliamentary seats in a single phase
* Over 18.85 crore voters to decide fate of 1640 candidates
* Over 2.10 lakh polling stations in place for smooth conduct of polls
* Anantnag Parliamentary constituency in Jammu & Kashmir would be going to polls in 3 parts in Phase III, Phase IV and Phase V of Lok Sabha elections.
* The four districts to be covered in Anantnag are Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama.
* The polls in Anantnag would be held on Tuesday April 23, in Kulgam on April 29, in Shopian and Pulwama on May 6, in all polling stations falling in these districts.
* Fearing law and order problems the election to Tripura (East) constituency were postponed from April 18 (Phase 2) to Aril 23 (Phase 3, that in on Tuesday).