JAMMU & KASHMIR :
In the 2014 polls, Mr. Sayeed defeated Congress candidate Mr. Shah by 6,000 votes and the margin has doubled this year.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday won the Anantnag Assembly seat by 12,085 votes, driving home a point that her popularity remains unaffected by the Peoples Democratic Party’s decision to join hands with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.
Of 28,500 polled votes, the PDP candidate Ms. Mufti has secured 17,701 votes, followed by Congress’ Hilal Shah with 5,616. National Conference (NC) Iftikhar Misger stood a distant third with 2,811 votes.
The PDP’s winning margin has considerably gone up in Anantnag despite the NC and the Congress pegging its campaign on the anti-BJP wave and cornering Ms. Mufti over her alliance partner.
In the 2014 polls, Mr. Sayeed defeated Congress candidate Mr. Shah by 6,000 votes and the margin has doubled this year with 12,000 lead by Ms. Mufti.
Earlier in the day, the counting was stopped immediately after the first round results were announced because of the Congress’ protests.
“An Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was not properly sealed and should not be counted at all,” alleged Mr. Shah, as he and his supporters left the counting hall in protest.
However, after 15 minutes the counting was restarted.
The NC also alleged EVM tampering. “A lot of EVMs in Anantnag (were) without mandatory seals/locks. Electoral staff says since teachers were incharge, their inexperience is the reason!” alleged NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu, who later congratulated Ms. Mufti on her victory.
However, district magistrate Syed Abid Rasheed Shah refuted the allegations of tampering of EVMs.
The Anantnag seat, which fell vacant after sitting chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed died on January 7, went to polls on June 22. Around 28,500 voters participated in the election out of 80,000 registered voters, with poll percentage pegged at 34 per cent, down by five per cent compared to the 2014 Assembly polls amidst separatists’ boycott call.
Considered bastion of the PDP, it’s Ms. Mufti’s fourth win to the State Assembly from south Kashmir since 1996, when she started her political career as Congress candidate and contested from Bijbehara constituency.
She was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Anantnag Parliament seat in 2014 general elections but returned to the State politics in April this year to take over as the State’s chief minister after her father’s demise.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Other States / Peerzada Ashiq / Srinagar – June 25th, 2016