Srinagar, April 9 (IANS) The voting for the parliamentary by-elections in the three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Gandarbal officially started at 7 a.m. but very few voters came out to exercise their democratic right.
In Srinagar, a very little voter turnout was seen in Amira Kadal, Batmaloo, Sonawar, Eidgah, Habba Kadal assembly segments in the morning.
The authorities said the process was expected to pick up as the day warms up.
In Gandarbal district, no voter turned up at the Haran, Bamloora and Dudrhana polling stations. In Kangan segment, very few voters were seen at the polling station. No queues of voters were seen in the Chadoora assembly segment.
Some voters came out to the polling station in the Beerwah assembly segment of Budgam district.
Separatists have called for a boycott of these polls.
More than 200 companies of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 25 companies of police have been deployed throughout Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, where the 15 assembly segments comprising the constituency are located.
A total of 1,261,397 voters are eligible to exercise democratic right for which 1,559 polling stations have been set up.
Ruling Peoples Democratic Party candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan is challenged by former Chief minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah.
Although there are nine candidates in the fray, the contest is mainly between Khan and Abdullah who is the joint candidate of the National Conference and the Congress.
The voting in the parliamentary by-poll would end at 5 p.m. and the counting of votes would take place on April 15.