The counting process for two much talked about DDC constituencies, Drugmulla in Kupwara and Hajin (A) in Bandipora, goes underway with supporters of respective candidates already lined up outside the counting centres anticipating the final results to be out at any moment.
The polling held on December 5, 2022 (Monday) in the two constituencies simultaneously, saw days of intense road-side and door-to-door campaigning. The supporters, especially women folk, braving severe chill came out of their homes in groups to vote for their respective candidates.
As Hajin (A) in Bandipora saw a voter turnout of 53.27%, with 4708 males and 3982 females out of 16000 electorate the Drugmulla in Kupwara however witnessed less voter percentage. Out of a total of 32000 electorate, Drugmulla recorded 32.73% turnout as 5624 males and 5109 females came out to exercise their right of franchise.
As the counting goes underway, the final results' will see any of the ten candidates' ascending to the much touted about DDC chair in Drugmulla constituency.
Among those candidates in fray for Drugmulla (Kupwara) constituency are; Hameeda Begum (Apni Party), Shabnum Rehman (PAGD candidate), Shabroza Hassan (Indian National Congress), Shakeela Akhter (Bharatiya Janata Party), Adv. Aamina Majeed (Independent), Hafeeza Begum (Independent), Rifat Jan (Independent), Rafeeqa Bano (Independent), Saima Begum (Independent) and Gulshan Begum (Independent).
On the other side for Hajin-A (Bandipora), there will be five candidates viz. Zahida Begum (Independent), Ateeqa Bano (Peoples Conference), Aabida Bano (Independent), Naza Bano (Independent) and Kulsooma Begum (Bharatiya Janata Party), who will be vying to win the seat.
Grapevine is that more than half of the 'Independent' candidates have actually received support from several mainstream political parties during their campaigning for the polls.
The people are expecting a close contest on both the seats as all the candidates vigorously campaigned throughout to woo the voters in their favour. It is however expected that candidates' with express party back-up may turn the tables on rival candidates in at least one among the two constituencies.
The administration in both the districts have in the meantime made elaborate security arrangements at the counting centres to avoid any untoward happening during the process.
Pertinent to mention here, that DDC elections took place in December 2020. The counting of votes was nonetheless withheld in Drugmulla and Hajin (A) owing to ‘disputed credentials’ of two candidates – Soomia Sadaf and Shazia Aslam. The State Election Commission (SEC) later on declared the polling in the two constituencies as void even as cancelling the candidature of both the candidates ab-intio and thereby directed for fresh polls on the two unfulfilled seats. (GNS)