Srinagar’s 7% voter turnout means a rejection of everything ‘Indian’


Mehbooba Mufti, chief minister of the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, has made a huge political statement by calling for the cancellation of the election in Anantnag on April 12. It is a seat she vacated as Member of Parliament and her brother, Tasaduq Mufti, is the PDP candidate.

Mehbooba’s call comes on the heels of the violent bypoll in Srinagar where eight were killed and only 7% cast their vote. The meagre turnout, by no means, reflects a popular mandate and many would argue that the Srinagar election should be declared null and void, for the winner – with a little over 3.5% of the vote – is clearly not the people’s representative.

If Anantnag votes – as it is slated to in less than 48 hours – the percentage could even be lower because it falls in South Kashmir, the region which was rocked with unprecedented protests in July last year after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani. South Kashmir is – was would be more appropriate – the PDP’s stronghold and a single-digit voter turnout would be a direct referendum on Mehbooba’s legitimacy as chief minister.





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