From boycott to ballot box: Anantnag-Rajouri youth script new narrative

Srinagar, May 25: The Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency which went to polls on Saturday witnessed a dynamic and celebrations as enthusiastic youth turned out to vote in large numbers.
Despite 20 candidates vying for attention, the primary contenders were Mian Altaf from the National Conference (NC), Mehbooba Mufti representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Zaffar Manhas from the Apni Party.
With over 18.36 lakh voters in the constituency spanning five districts – Kulgam, Anantnag, Poonch, Shopian, and Rajouri – the final phase of Lok Sabha elections for Jammu and Kashmir took on a profound significance.
Once infamous for boycotts, particularly in South Kashmir, this election saw a notable shift as long queues formed outside polling stations.
Driven by a collective desire for change and a newfound sense of civic responsibility, young men and women emerged as a formidable force at the polls.
Mohammad Zubair, a 28-year-old from Qaimoh Kulgam, highlighted the significance of participating in voting, emphasizing the youth’s determination to secure a brighter future through active participation in the electoral process.
“Majority of youth are voting today for the first time in the past three decades. We decided to come and vote for our better future. The separatist-led boycott calls yielded nothing. If we want change then we have to come in electoral politics,” he said.
In Anantnag, a palpable sense of optimism permeated the air as voters of all ages cast their ballots with conviction.
Adnan Ahmad, a 23-year-youth of main town Anantnag echoed Zubair’s sentiments, emphasizing the intergenerational imperative to vote for progress and job creation.
“If we don’t vote today then next generation won’t forgive us. We have to elect a representative who will work for development and create job opportunities for youth,” he said.
At Tarigam Devsar, Abid Khan reflected on the evolution of electoral participation since the 2019 elections, noting a marked increase in youth engagement.
“During 2019 elections, people largely boycotted elections. This time, youth are showing interest in electoral process. World has changed then how can we stay behind. Poll boycott yielded nothing and instead many areas in South Kashmir remained under developed,” said Abid Khan.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts