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Voters in India's Kashmir are turning out in huge numbers to vote for their village councilors. Council elections haven't been held for 10 years and villagers are hoping the elections will result in local improvements.
People in the Rajouri district of India's Jammu and Kashmir state started voting for their village councilors on Thursday for the first time in ten years.
Eager voters were seen waiting at the polling booths to choose their representatives.
Lawyer Julafar Ali Chaudhary says the turnout of voters could reach 90 percent.
[Julafar Ali Chaudhary, Lawyer]:
"We have conducted elections with non-party reliance. So the selected candidates should be informed enough to take care of the problems in the village like electricity, water, roads, hospital and school issues. So all these issues should be tackled by the candidate at the village level only."
Locals are optimistic that the village council elections will result in improved conditions for their region.
[Mohammad Nazir, Local Resident]:
"The village polls are being held after such a long time in our state. In our area we want a candidate who is capable of doing welfare work for our area. From 1947 until now, neither we nor our animals have had proper roads to walk on."
The candidates are promising youth employment, quality development works and proper implementation of central and state sponsored schemes.
Jammu and Kashmir will have polls for their village council from April 13 to June 30.