Defying winter chill, boycott calls, 110 years old Bakhti Begum voted for new dawn of peace

By Reyaz Ahmed, NAK,

Lolab, Kupwara : Trudging towards polling station a 110-year-old Bakhti Begum of Khantpora Kupwara, was confident that her vote will help usher in change and help in assuring employment unemployed youth stood in queue at a polling station in Lolab constituency of Kupawra district.

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‘There are many problems like unemployment, bad roads and poor electricity. “I am voting for someone who will change things. I am confident my vote will make a difference”, said Bhakti wife of Ghulam Rasool Mir who waited patiently for her turn to vote at the Khantpora Lalab polling station although she could barely stand.

Her daughter-in-law Hafeeza said the family had difficulty in persuading the elderly woman not to come out in the winter chill.

She insisted she must vote. “We wanted her to wait till the weather warmed up, but she wouldn’t listen”,’ Mehbooba said.

Lolab is among the five constituencies in Kupwara district where polling stations opened at 8 a.m. Sunday to decide the fate of 71 candidates, including 31 independents and five women.

At the Khantpora polling booth, hundreds of voters, mostly women, had lined up to exercise their franchise.

Ghulam Muhammad, the presiding officer, said the polling station has 678 registered voters and 200 votes were cast till 11: a.m.