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In Kreeri, Rafiabad, voters defy the boycott and flock to the polls for developers – Rising Kashmir

Srinagar, May 20: In a major show of democratic commitment, Baramulla Parliament constituency in north Kashmir today witnessed high voter turnout during the fifth phase of LokSabha elections. Voters defied calls for a boycott and emphasized their desire for development and progress in rural areas.
In areas such as Wagoora, Rafiabad and Kreeri, which previously had low turnout, there was a marked increase in participation. Polling stations were buzzing with activity from early morning as voters of all ages cast their ballots en masse, creating a festive atmosphere.
Voters cited development and improving basic services as their top concerns, in addition to addressing the problems faced by farmers and apple growers. MohdYousuf, a senior citizen from Rafiabad, expressed his commitment to democratic principles by saying: “Every problem has a solution only in a democratic setup, and that is why we have gathered here to cast our vote to decide on the candidate for parliament.”
Many voters echoed Yousuf’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of every vote in selecting the best candidate for their needs. Ghulam Hassan Bhat from Wagoora emphasized his hope for development, peace and prosperity, saying: “We want a change that will benefit the common people and lead a peaceful life.”
These elections also provided an important opportunity for unemployed youth. Bhat noted, “This is also an opportunity for the unemployed youth to identify their candidate who can work for the unemployed youth who have suffered greatly.”
Reflecting on the changes in Jammu and Kashmir, a 40-year-old first-time voter said, “This is time for change and once there is change, people would be happy. We have seen in recent years how many people have suffered.”
Showkat Ahmad of Wagoora emphasized the importance of holding candidates accountable, saying: “We all need to exercise our right to vote to hold candidates accountable. It is a right of every citizen.”
Older voters also expressed concerns. MohdAssadullah from Kreeri stressed the need for better healthcare and other facilities for the elderly, while an octogenarian voter from KandiBaramulla expressed hope that the winning candidate would advocate for the poor and weaker sections of the society, especially with regard to rising electricity costs.
Dilshada (name changed), a woman voter from Tangmarg, raised the issue of unaffordable electricity costs due to her family’s financial problems. “My husband is a worker and we are barely able to meet our daily needs, let alone save money. We live a miserable life,” she said.
Highlighting the need for better educational facilities, Maroofa from Kreeri, who was a first-time voter, said: “I am a student. I still face many problems in terms of education and transportation facilities. The candidate we voted for must be committed to improving educational facilities.”
Overall, Baramulla voters demonstrated a strong commitment to democracy, with a clear focus on electing representatives who would address their development challenges and improve their quality of life. Voters are coming in large numbers to the Uri border constituency as people vote for employment and development. .