Mehbooba Mufti set to lose uphill battle in conflict-worn Anantnag

Mehbooba Mufti, Jammu and Kashmir, PDP, National Conference, Pulwama attack, Balakot airstrike
Firdous Tak said a member’s interaction with the establishment must not be construed as the party’s endorsement for the same. Photo: Twitter

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti, who contested from Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, is trailing in third place with a little over 30,000 votes.

This comes as a shock as the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir had won the seat in 2014 after defeating National Conference’s Husnain Masoodi and Congress state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir.

This Lok Sabha election, Masoodi, a retired judge, so far has secured over 40,000 votes, followed by former minister Ahmad Mir. The BJP candidate in the district, Sofi Yousuf, has 9,687 votes.

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Mufti defeated Masoodi and Mir by 65,417 votes in 2014. But she vacated the seat on becoming the chief minister of the state in 2016.

Read more: The story of Mehbooba Mufti

According to the EC data, polling in Anantnag was largely peaceful but the turnout was the lowest in the state. The overall turnout in the constituency, which saw polling in three phases because of security concerns after the Pulwama attack, was 9 per cent. The constituency has over 13 lakh registered voters but many youngsters abstained from voting in protest against what they called “human rights atrocities” committed in the region.

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