This Article is From Apr 13, 2017

2% Voter Turnout In Srinagar Re-Polling, Farooq Abdullah A Candidate

The turnout was the lowest in 27 years, in response to a call for a boycott by separatists.

Highlights

  • Repolling ordered after widespread violence in voting on Sunday
  • 8 civilians died; ex Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah is a candidate
  • Today, voter turnout is at 0.7%, a record low
Srinagar: Only 2 per cent voters turned up to vote again at Srinagar parliamentary seat, the lowest in the history of Jammu and Kashmir and way below the 7 per cent of Sunday. Polling in parts of the constituency -- where former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah is among the candidates -- was held again due to the unprecedented violence that day which resulted in 8 deaths and injuries to more than 100 security personnel.

The areas where re-polling was held, includes parts of Budgam, near Srinagar, where stone-pelting and petrol bomb attacks were made on Sunday. But in some of the violence-hit areas, not a single vote had been cast till 10 am.

Admitting to "mixed feelings" about the polling figure, the state's Chief Election Officer Shant Manu told NDTV that the day had passed peacefully. "Massive security was deployed after the violence on Sunday," he said.

Of the seven candidates for the Srinagar constituency, five have pulled out in protest because they wanted the re-polling to be delayed, alleging that the current unrest does not allow for a free and fair election. Mr Abdullah did not join the boycott, announced yesterday; he is running against Nazir Ahmad Khan of the ruling People's Democratic Party or PDP. Results will be counted on Saturday.

After schools that were to be used as voting centres were set on fire, and hundreds of protestors marched into voting centres shouting anti-India slogans on Sunday, the election from Anantnag, near Srinagar, was delayed to May. Among those who had asked for that was Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, the brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is her party's candidate from Anantnag.

The voter turnout of 7% on Sunday was the lowest in decades, a result of a boycott called by separatist leaders.

Since then, the police have blocked roads with barricades and restricted movement of vehicles. Some train services and internet services were also suspended in the region temporarily.

Counting of votes will be held on Saturday and the result would be known the same day.

(With inputs from agencies)