Sunday, December 21, 2014

JK election results tomorrow

 Stage is set for the penultimate round of the five-phased polls in Jammu and Kashmir in which the fate of 182 candidates including two chief ministerial aspirants and Speaker of the Assembly will be sealed tomorrow.
Over 14.73 lakh voters including 7.05 lakh females are eligible to exercise their franchise at 1,890 polling stations in four districts of the state – Srinagar, Anantnag, Shopian (Kashmir Valley) and Samba (Jammu region).
All eyes will be on the eight constituencies of Srinagar– currently being represented by the National Conference (NC)– as the voter turnout has generally remained low in the district along with some parts of Anantnag and Shopian.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is contesting from Sonwar Assembly segment of Srinagar after he chose not to contest from his family stronghold of Ganderbal constituency.
Omar was also in fray from Beerwah seat, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, which went to polls in the third phase.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron and party chief ministerial candidate Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is seeking re-election from Anantnag constituency in south Kashmir.
Depending on the eventual party positions in terms of seats won, either Omar or Sayeed is likely to be the front-runner for the chief minister’s post.
Other prominent candidates who are in fray include J&K Assembly Speaker Mubarak Gul, Omar’s close confidante Nasir Aslam Wani, Congress ministers Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed and Ghulam Ahmad Mir, and PDP’s Abdul Rehman Veeri and Altaf Bukhari.
The campaign in the four districts was by and large peaceful but militants hurled a grenade at a police station in Anantnag town on Thursday, resulting in injuries to three policemen. The ultras also planted an IED under a culvert in Shopian district on the same day but the explosive was detected by security forces and defused by a bomb disposal squad.
Security arrangements in all the four districts have been strengthened to ensure peaceful polling.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union Minister of State Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood actor and party MP Vinod Khanna campaigned for BJP candidates in the seats going to polls in the fourth phase.
The BJP, which is making its first serious bid for power in Jammu and Kashmir, has come out all guns blazing to make its presence felt in the Valley.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Pradesh Congress Committee president Saifuddin Soz also campaigned for their candidates.
Omar, working president of the NC, was the only star campaigner for his party in the absence of his father and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who is undergoing medical treatment in London.
Omar crisscrossed the four districts to campaign for his party candidates including himself.
PDP’s Sayeed and party president Mehbooba Mufti also campaigned for their party candidates.
Of the 18 seats going to polls tomorrow, the ruling NC had won nine in 2008 while the opposition PDP bagged six seats. Congress had won two seats while National Panthers Party clinched the Samba seat in Jammu region.
With the fourth phase, the polling process will come to an end in Kashmir Valley as all the 20 seats going to polls in the fifth and the last phase on December 20 are in Jammu region.

Chillai Kalan Begins in Kashmir

The 40-day chilliest part of winter in Kashmir, Chillai-Kalan, began today on a warmer note as night temperatures rose across the Valley.
Chillai-Kalan, is the period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent and temperatures remain mostly below zero.
People mostly stay indoors during this chilliest part of winter as day temperature also dips drastically with night temperature being mostly below freezing leading to freezing of most of the water bodies including the famous Dal Lake.
Though minimum temperatures continued to remain below the freezing point, they went up by several degrees across the division, increasing the chances of snowfall in the region which has seen dry weather so far.
There was light snowfall in Gulmarg and other upper reaches of Kashmir valley making people to shiver with the cold as icy winds were blowing across Kashmir.
The MeT office spokesman here forecast widespread rains or isolated snowfall over the next 24 hours. He said the minimum temperature increased by over two degrees in Srinagar as the city recorded a low of minus 1.8 degree Celsius, compared to the previous night’s minus 4.4 degree Celsius.
The spokesman said that Pahalgam in South Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.4 degree Celsius, up by over three degrees from minus 6.2 degree Celsius recorded the previous night.
The minimum temperature in Qazigund increased by four degrees from minus 5.8 degree Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 1.8 degree Celsius. Kokernag recorded minus 1.7 degree Celsius”, the spokesman said.
“Gulmarg recorded a minimum of minus 2.8 degree Celsius, as against the previous night’s minus 3.4 degree Celsius. The spokesman said that Kupwara town recorded a low of minus 4.3 degree Celsius”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that minimum temperature in Leh was recorded at minus 6.0 degree Celsius, over seven degrees up from the previous night’s minus 13.9 degree Celsius. “Kargil registered an increase of over three degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 13 degree Celsius to settle at minus 9.6 degree Celsius”, the spokesman added.
This year, chill is more and some people attribute it to the September floods that ravaged Kashmir valley.
Meanwhile, chilly weather conditions for the fourth consecutive day with mercury much below the normal and no sunshine, kept the people indoor today and resorting to different means for warmth in Jammu.
As there was also no improvement in the prevailing foggy conditions, Rail traffic remained disrupted due to poor visibility and maximum trains reached here late behind the scheduled time. However, there was no disruption in flights, which were on time, official sources informed the News.
Almost negligible change was registered in maximum and minimum temperature in Jammu on Sunday in comparison to that of yesterday. Jammu today registered 11.8 degree Celsius day temperature, which was still much below the normal thus triggering cold wave conditions across the region. The minimum temperature witnessed a slight fall from 4.8 degree Celsius (Saturday) to 4.5 degree Celsius (Sunday).
Due to fog and consequent poor visibility, maximum trains were late in their arrival at Jammu. Jammu Mail and Pooja Express reached at 11.30 am and 12.25 noon, respectively, instead of their scheduled time 9.30 am and 8 am, respectively. Sealdah was late by four hours, Jhelum by five hours, Varanasi Express by six hours and Archana Express by eight hours. Similarly other trains were also late in arrival.

Late arrival of trains led to rescheduling of their departure also and therefore passengers had to wait for hours together.
However, there was no disruption in Air traffic and all flights were on time.
According to the Metrology Department, the prevailing cold wave is likely to further intensify in the forthcoming days. Light rains and snow may occur at isolated places in the next 24 hours, Met official said.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last Phase of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls

20 constituencies spread over Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts of Jammu region are going to polls.

Braving winter chill, a little more than 12 per cent of the electorate on Saturday exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in 20 constituencies in the final phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“12.09 per cent of voting has been registered in first two hours of polling till 1000 hours in 20 segments of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts”, an official spokesman said.
Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and four of his Cabinet colleagues are among the 312 candidates whose fate will be decided in the third phase of polling on Saturday in the 20 seats spread across Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts.
At many places, voters lined up at polling stations much before the start of the voting time at 8 a.m.
Despite cold weather, people were seen marching towards the polling booths and long queues of electorate were seen outside the polling booths to exercise their franchise.
In Bishnah constituency at polling station 27, out of the total 640 votes, 72 have already been cast in the first hour of polling. At polling Station 28, out of 706 votes, 81 have already been cast.
Similarly, in Suchategarh constituency, at polling station 23, out of 1,009, 107 have already been cast, whereas, in polling station 28, out of 940 votes, 122 have already been cast during the first hour.
Giving details, election officials said while Akhnoor border constituency in Jammu district witnessed the highest 19.26 per cent of the voters casting their ballot, Rajouri segment registered lowest 4.61 per cent voting.
R.S. Pura border constituency saw 19 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise, Nagorta 17 per cent while Raipur Domana saw over 16.69 per cent voters casting their ballot, Chhamb and Suchetgarh polled 16 percent each.
Similarly, Bani recorded 15.22 per cent, Hiranagar 15.02 per cent, Bishnah 14 per cent, Marh 12 per cent, Kathua 11.71 per cent, Basholi 11 per cent, Billawar 10.25 and Gandhinagar and Jammu East polled 10 per cent votes.
Besides these, Jammu West and Noushera polled 9 per cent votes followed by 8.50 per cent polling in Darhal and 7.15 per cent in Kalakote.

Holiday on Kabir Jayanti preponed

 Restricted holiday for the Jammu province on account of Kabir Jayanti will be observed on June 23 (Sunday) instead of June 25 (Tuesday).
An order in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department.

BJP candidates attacked by PDP in Nowshera, Billawar

BJP candidate from Nowshera constituency, Ravinder Raina and another activist, were injured after he was attacked by some PDP activists near Lamberi late this evening.
Sources said that incident took place when PDP workers were reportedly distributing some items and cash among voters near Lamberi. The BJP candidate Raina along with some of his supporters rushed there after coming to know about the mater. When the BJP activists reached there, some people at the site resorted to stone pelting on them. It was darkness and Safari vehicle of Mr Raina was damaged in stoning.
The BJP activists also retaliated but rivals were more in number. They had Tata Mobile vehicle with them also hit the Safari of BJP candidate  Raina and his associate Manjit Singh were injured in the attack and were removed to Nowshera hospital.
A large number of BJP activists rushed to hospital after coming to know about the attack on Raina. They started protest against PDP candidate Surinder Choudhary and Police. The BJP candidate was later referred to GMC Hospital Jammu. In view of tension, the local administration deployed more police men.
SSP Rajouri, Dr Haseeb Mughal when contacted said that in clash between the BJP and PDP activists over an issue of alleged distribution of some items and cash at Lamberi, the BJP candidate Ravinder Raina and his associate were injured. He said in the incident of stone pelting at the site, one Manjit Singh was hit at the head while Raina on his shoulder. He said  the doctors at Nowshera hospital referred him to GMC hospital Jammu. He said that police has taken cognizance of the matter and investigation has been started.
Meanwhile, some goonda elements believed to be the supporters of Congress candidate from Billawar Dr Manohar Lal Sharma allegedly attacked BJP candidate Dr Nirmal Singh’s vehicle at Thara Kalwal in Billawar late this evening. The goons damaged vehicle, but Dr Singh escaped unhurt.
A party spokesman said that Mamta Singh, wife of  Dr Nirmal Singh has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India in this regard.