EC discusses violence, poor voter turnout in Srinagar bypolls

NEW DELHI
10 Apr 2017

The Election Commission today discussed the unprecedented election-day violence and poor voter turnout in the bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. Eight people were killed yesterday in firing by security forces in the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll where only 7.14 per cent of the electorate came out to cast their vote. Sources privy to the meeting said top Commission brass met to discuss past precedents and various options available to it, so that the poll panel could take a considered view under these circumstances. In 2014 general elections, 26 per cent voting was recorded on this seat, while in the polls of 1989, Mohammad Shafi Bhat won uncontested. The previous lowest turnout in the prestigious seat was 11.93 per cent in 1999 when Omar Abdullah had defeated Mehbooba Mufti in a straight contest. J-K former chief minister and National Conference stalwart Farooq Abdullah, who had lost the seat in the 2014 elections, is locked in a straight fight with Nazir Ahmad Khan of the ruling PDP along with seven other candidates. State Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu had yesterday said that a decision on repoll in violence-hit areas will be taken after examining the diaries of the presiding officers. Almost 70 per cent of the polling booths in Budgam district were abandoned by the polling staff due to the spate of violent protests in several areas, officials in Srinagar had said.(PTI)