Jammu,April 16 -–Jan Bibi, 80 standing outside the polling station in a remote village of Darhal in Rajouri district, reflected the undefeatable sprit of Indian democracy. When asked what drove her to come out to exercise her franchise at 80, she instantly remarked that if we do not come forward in telling the young generation the importance of casting vote, who would?
Steady polling was witnessed in all the 20 Assembly segments spread over four districts of Samba, Jammu , Rajouri and Poonch of Jammu Parliamentary constituency in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections today.. While polling was slow in the early hours of morning, but as the day progressed, it picked up momentum and queues were seen of enthusiastic voters lined up outside the different polling stations.
In the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, people in spite of hilly terrain came out attired in colourful traditional dresses to cast their votes. Mr. Ashok Kumar, the first voter to cast his vote in a polling station in Sunderbani tehsil of Rajouri Assembly segment , said, “I felt that it was my duty to cast vote and I have voted for development and peace in the State and country.”
Young and first-timers lending enthusiasm to the entire electoral exercise, were also seen queuing with the others to feel the pleasure of the indelible ink. The glint in their eyes mirrored the enthusiasm among the youth to be part of the exercise to choose their Parliamentarians. Ms. Neelum and Ms. Rajni waited eagerly to cast their votes outside the polling station in Jammu East.
Enthusiasm was also great among the voters in polling stations no. 9 and 9-A located in Government Primary School Panjtoo just less than a kilometer from International Border. An octogenarian, Mrs. Durga Devi of Panjtoo and Mrs. Shanti Devi, 85, were among womenfolk who cast their vote in favour of their choicest candidate. 61- year-old Mr. Lal Chand of the same village was the first to cast his vote at polling station- 9-A.
A 90-year-old lady, Mrs. Kamla Devi, cast her vote early in the morning at polling station- 70 located at Government Girls Primary School, Gurah Brahmana in Chhamb Assembly segment while Mr. Shamsher Singh, sarpanch of the same village, was the first to cast his vote at the same polling station.
A similar election atmosphere also prevailed at village Badiyala Chak and Khour, less than 5 km from the border. A physically-handicapped youth, Mr. Bitoo Kumar, 26, came all the way on his crutches to cast his vote at polling station-27 located at
Great rush of female electors was seen at polling stations 41, 42 and 42-A located in Government Middle School, Karanzone, Bhalwal in Raipur-Domana Assembly segment. Hustle and bustle of voters was also witnessed in various polling stations near Janipur Housing Colony where four polling stations were set up in a row to facilitate voters to cast their votes..
Samba and Vijaypur segments of Samba district in Jammu Parliamentary constituency witnessed brisk polling throughout the day and the polling booths were alive with the voters since bee hours till the end of the polling. Similar scenes were also witnessed in Bishnah Assembly segment of the constituency, where voters belonging to all ages were seen waiting for their turn to vote despite hot sun.