Two-thirds of Jammu electorate vote by 3 p.m. (Third Lead)

Jammu, April 10: Two-thirds of the electorate had exercised their franchise by 3 p.m. Thursday for the Jammu Lok Sabha seat even as queues could be seen at most polling stations in the constituency.

Poll office figures indicated that Chhamb assembly segment topped the voting with a 73 percent turnout, followed by Akhnoor and Marh, both recording 71 percent balloting.

Kalakote assembly segment with 49 percent recorded the lowest turnout of voters out of the 19 assembly segments in this constituency.

Voters at many polling stations in Jammu, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts said they pressed the button for somebody who could really make a difference in their lives.

Voting for the Jammu seat started on a brisk note Thursday morning as enthusiastic voters queued up outside polling stations much before the opening time of 7 a.m.

Bright sunshine and a clear sky greeted citizens when they came out, many of them wearing traditional dresses, to cast their votes.

Karalian polling station in Vijaypur segment of Jammu has just 919 voters, including 459 women. In the first 15 minutes, 30 votes had been cast here as more than 200 voters lined up.

Most people said they were voting against corruption and price rise.

The village has a sizeable number of Sikh voters, many of them ex-servicemen.

Karalian villagers said they have to pay heavily whenever there is a violation of the ceasefire agreement by Pakistan.

“Our crops get destroyed, cattle are not fed and children have to bunk school. We need a prime minister who can ensure that life goes on without fear of the enemy,” Nanak Chand, 45, told IANS.

There are 19 candidates in the fray here, but the main contest is between the BJP’s Jugal Kishore, Congress candidate Madan Lal Sharma and Yash Pal Sharma of the regional Peoples Democratic Party.

The ruling National Conference which is fighting elections in alliance with the Congress supports Madan Lal Sharma who is seeking re-election for the third time.

Voting ends at 6 p.m.