ANANTNAG: Braving the bitter chill and treading a special path, people in South Kashmir queued outside the polling stations in large numbers to cast their vote during the fourth phase of the ongoing Jammu and Kashmir elections. The youth were mostly heard discussing the candidates and voting for change.

“ I have never cast a vote in my life, but today I am in the queue from the last two hours, as I am fed up of the system and will cast my vote for change” said Syed Arshid of Dooru Anantnag.

Dor Shahabad Constituency, a strong bed for the Congress candidate G A Mir is facing a triangular contest with competition from Peoples Democratic Party’s Syed Farooq Andrabi and the National Conference candidate Farooq A Ganai. Although the constituency recorded 63.94% polling the mood favours the PDP.

“The MLA has let us down, he has developed areas according to his will and not the peoples need. Corruption and nepotism is rampant in Doru” said Khurshid Ahmad of Verinag. Khurshid added, “this time we are voting for a new MLA to change the system.”

Besides the PDP many people in this South Kashmir Constituency feel that NC’s Farooq Andrabi could be the proverbial dark horse.

“Farooq has emerged as a leader, and did a lot of work for the people during the floods and now for their rehabilitation,” according to 25 year old Maroof Ahmad Bhawani.

Besides Doru, the people in another South Kashmir constituency Kokernag voted against their long time MLA and senior Congress leader Peerzada Sayeed. Recording a polling of 64.89% the voters in this constituency too are raising slogans for change. Ground reports suggest that PDP candidate Abdul Rahim Rather is going to win the elections with huge margin.

“No doubt Peerzada has developed the area well but he failed his voters by remained involved in various scams and cases,” Aadil Ahmad said. “The Congress legislator is a bad name for the constituency,” he added.

In both Doru and Kokernag Constituency, people in large numbers voted against the Congress party. However, in Shangus constituency the people voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Congress candidate Gulzar Ahmad Wani.

With 30 years of political experience Gulzar has never won the election but has remained the fixed candidate for the Congress party in this South Kashmir constituency.

The Sitting PDP MLA of Shangus, Peer Mansoor is seen as a failure but the voters. “I had been the die hard supporter of PDP before this election, but Mansoor has done nothing for the constituency,” said Syed Nisar echoing a near consensus in the constituency.

The NC candidate in Shangus, Advocate Nazir Ahmad is also fairly popular.

However, in the Anantnag constituency which witnessed minimal voting of just 38.67%, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been the ultimate choice for the voters.

“He (Mufti) is the ultimate leader and under his leadership South Kashmir has seen progress, so we are voting for him only “ said Nazir Ahmad of Cheeni Chowk.

The voters in Anantnag constituency added that both the Congress and NC failed the development of this district and has favored the development in Srinagar only.

“Why should we vote for the Congress and NC when they have proved to be Srinagar centric, both these have failed Anantnag in terms of development and employment” Nazir added.

Meanwhile with the counting days coming close, the results will soon be out. But the Citizen has learnt intelligence assessments have confirmed the rise of the PDP in South Kashmir, with perhaps just one Assembly seat going to the Congress party.