June 2016 News

Mehbooba Clinches Comfortable Win In Anantnag

25 June 2016
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday emerged victorious in her first electoral battle after the death of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed by defeating her nearest rival by over 12,000 votes. The 57-year-old polled 17,701 votes while the Congress's Hilal Ahmad Shah secured 5,600 and National Conference's Iftikhar Misgar got 2,811 votes. Of the total electorate of 84,067 electors including 4,229 migrant voters, a total of 28,446 had cast their votes during polling on June 22. The Anantnag seat fell vacant after the death of former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7. After his death, Mehbooba took over as first woman Chief Minister of the State on April 4. However, it was mandatory for her to become a member of the J&K legislature within six months to retain her post. Mehbooba is also a sitting MP from South Kashmir and has not resigned from Parliament yet. Interestingly Mehbooba's victory margin in the constituency is twice that of her father, who won the Anantnag seat by 6,000 votes in the 2014 elections. Saturday's win is Mehbooba's fourth in the Assembly elections from south Kashmir, the stronghold of the PDP, founded by her and her father in 1999. 'It is an honour and a privilege to be elected from a seat, which was represented by my father. I am heartened that voters of Anantnag have put their trust in me to continue the work on his behalf,' Mehbooba said after her victory. 'I would continue to work for my people to end their miseries'. Defeated candidates Shah and Misger claimed the election was a 'repeat of 1987 rigging'. 'I and my counting agents spotted an unsealed EVM, which according to norms should have been left untouched till Election Commission took a call on it,' Congress party's Hilal Shah said.