SRINAGAR: The by-election to Anantnag assembly constituency of Jammu and Kashmir recorded a low turnout of 33.84 percent. There were over 84 thousand registered voters in the constituency.
Chief Electoral Officer, Shantmanu, revealed the figure in a press conference here this evening. The assembly constituency went vacant after former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away on January 7 this year.
The voter turnout in last assembly election in the constituency was 39 percent, while in last to last election it was 41 percent, Shantmanu said. In last Parliamentary election, voter turnout was 18 percent, while in last to last Parliamentary election it was 22 percent.
Shantmanu said it was a “solace” for the election commission that the election was conducted without any major untoward incident. However, he said, “There was no major complaint. There were few complaints as far as violation of model code of conduct was concerned, before the polls, and all of them were address, examined and disposed off accordingly.”
Shantmanu said there were 117 polling stations and there was a lapse in Electronic Voting Machine at one of them, which was among 13 stations in Jammu meant for migrant Kashmiri Pandits.
He further said that additional supervision of polls was done through web-casting from 20 polling stations, deployment of micro-observers and videography at five poling stations.
Present chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was contesting today’s election as the law makes it mandatory for her to be elected to one of the houses of state’s bicameral legislature within six months of taking charge as the head of the state.
Pertinently, separatist groups and militant outfits had called for boycotting the election, saying that the polls under “Indian military occupation” were nothing more than a drama and that India ‘exploited’ the high voter turnout as a plebiscite in its favour.