Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Polls: BJP Candidate Hina Bhat Denies Slapping Poll Official

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Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Polls: BJP Candidate Hina Bhat Denies Slapping Poll Official

Hina Bhat has alleged blatant foul play on part of polling officers.


SRINAGAR:  Hina Bhat, the BJP candidate for Srinagar's Amira Kadal constituency, slapped a polling officer during the fourth phase of assembly elections in the state today, a police officer has told NDTV. The incident took place at a booth in Chan Pora on the outskirts of Srinagar.

Ms Bhat has denied this. "I stopped polling because the polling officer, in the guise of showing a voter how to operate an EVM (Electronic Voting Machine), was casting a vote on her behalf," she told NDTV.

The incident, however, gave rise to a controversy, with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeting, "The BJP candidate in Srinagar who earlier threatened to pick up a gun over Art 370 now slaps a polling officer. Well done."

Mr Abdullah's party, the National Conference, won all eight seats in Srinagar in 2008. The BJP is now trying to make a dent in this bastion of the ruling party.  

Ms Bhat said there was widespread rigging today and the "rigged polling will give birth to another Salahuddin".

Before he became the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin - whose real name was Mohammed Yusuf Shah - was the candidate of the Muslim United Front for Amira Kadal constituency in the 1987 elections.

But he had lost the election to a National Conference candidate Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah amid widespread allegations of rigging. Salahuddin was said to have been jailed following his vociferous protests and after his release, he joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Alleging blatant foul play on part of polling officers, Ms Bhat said she has surveyed all polling stations all morning.

At Nati Pora, a polling officer ordered that the voting be stopped after an argument with BJP workers, she said. The matter was resolved only after the local magistrate stepped in at her request.


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