Mehbooba Mufti Wins Anantnag By-Elections by Over 11,000 Votes
Mufti was leading by nearly 4,000 votes against her nearest rival when counting was briefly disrupted.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday won the Anantnag by-election by over 11,000 votes.
Counting of votes began on Saturday morning for south Kashmir’s Anantnag assembly constituency where Mufti was one of the eight contesting candidates.
Mufti was leading by nearly 4,000 votes against her nearest rival when counting was briefly disrupted after Congress supporters alleged that bogus votes were being counted in the name of postal ballots.
But the vote count resumed immediately even as dozens of supporters of Congress candidate Hillal Ahmed Shah shouted anti-government slogans. Shah alleged that postal ballots were “not properly sealed and were basically bogus votes”.
After the seventh round of counting, Mufti had polled nearly 12,000 votes and Congress’ Hilal Ahmad Shah had 3,700. Iftikhar Hussain Misghar of the National Conference had secured just 1,700 votes in the Anantnag constituency that was once a bastion of his party.
Eight candidates, including Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Shah of the Congress and Iftikhar Hussain Misgar of the National Conference were contesting.
The constituency has over 84,000 eligible voters and a total of nearly 28,500 voted on June 22, despite poll boycott called by separatist politicians and militants.
The by-election in Anantnag was necessitated because of the death of the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Sayeed represented the constituency in the 87-member legislative house. He passed away in New Delhi on January 7 after a brief illness.
Mehbooba Mufti assumed power after being sworn in as the Chief Minister of the PDP-BJP coalition government on 4 April.
It is mandatory for a Chief Minister or any other minister in the state to become a member of either house of state’s bicameral legislature within six months of being sworn in.
At present, Mehbooba Mufti represents the south Kashmir Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in parliament.
(With IANS, PTI inputs.)
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