This Article is From Jun 25, 2016

Anantnag By-Polls: Mehbooba Mufti Wins By Around 12,000 Votes

Mehbooba Mufti is currently an MP from Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency (File photo)


  • Ms Mufti got over 17,000 votes; her closest rival got over 5,000
  • Opposition parties had alleged that voting machines were tampered with
  • Anantnag seat fell vacant after Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death in January
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today won Anantnag by-polls by a huge margin of around 12,000 votes amid allegations of  "election rigging". Peoples Democratic Party President Ms Mufti secured over 17,000 out total 28,000 polled votes. Her nearest rival Congress' Hilal Shah got 5,589 votes.

National Conference's Iftikhar Hussain Misghar came a distant third with a little over 2,800 votes in the constituency that was once a bastion of his party.

Ms Mufti's victory margin was double than that of her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who had in 2014 won by around 6,000 votes in the constituency.

Ms Mufti, currently an MP from Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, faced a multi- corner contest in the by-polls but Hilal shah seen as main challenger.

All opposition parties including National Conference boycotted counting after allegations that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were tampered with. Candidates demanded cancellation of by-polls.

Protesting inside the polling centre, Mr Hilal said, "Machines were without seal and signatures on them didn't match. It's a brazen election rigging by ruling party and administration is party to this rigging."

"When we raised our voice the district magistrate threatened to put us behind the bars," said the Congress candidate as he stormed out of the centre.

Denying allegations, District Magistrate Abid Rashid Shah, who is also district election officer, said, "They tried to break an EVM and when we tried to discipline them they started protesting."

PDP leaders termed the protest as "frustration of defeat".
Celebrating Ms Mufti's victory, Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri who said, "This was a one-sided contest and people of Anantnag have proved that they want development, progress and prosperity."

Elections were necessitated in Anantnag constituency due to the death of Mehbooba Mufti's father and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7 this year.

The total number of registered voters in the Anantnag assembly segment is 84,067 -- 42,840 males and 41,227 females, an official spokesperson said, adding that there were 102 polling stations in the constituency.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)