Srinagar, Apr 13 : A mere two per cent turnout was witnessed in repolling held in 38 polling stations of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, making it the lowest percentage in the state’s history, election officials said.
However, the overall percentage in the entire constituency now stood at 7.13 per cent, the officials said.
The situation was by and large peaceful during today’s electoral exercise which had been necessitated because of large-scale violence on last Sunday when balloting was held in the entire constituency.
“Only 709 of the 34,169 voters exercised their franchise across all the 38 polling stations by the time the polling ended at 4 pm,” an election official said.
No votes were polled in Khansahib assembly segment while only three votes were cast in Budgam segment and 84 in Chrar- e-Sharief segment, the official said.
Beerwah segment saw a turnout of 362 voters and Chadoora saw 261 voters since 7 am.
Barring a couple of minor incidents of stone-pelting, the repolling passed by peacefully, the official added.
Two incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Soibugh and Nasrullahpora areas of Budgam district but the miscreants were chased away by the security forces, the official said.
The counting of the votes for the constituency will take place on April 15.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and ruling PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan are among the 9 candidates in the fray in the constituency.
The seat fell vacant following resignation of PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra in protest against the “atrocities” on people during summer agitation last year in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
The repolling had been ordered at these polling stations by the EC following large scale violence during Sunday’s polls for the prestigious seat.
On Sunday, eight people were killed and over 100 security personnel were injured after rampaging mobs took to streets at scores of places across the Lok Sabha constituency straddling Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts.
The mobs even set ablaze a polling station and attempting to set afire two others.
The voter turnout then was 7.14 per cent, the lowest ever.
There was an altercation between opposition National Congress and ruling PDP workers at Badran in Beerwah area over allegations of bogus voting, the officials said.
The issue was later resolved with the intervention of the polling staff and security personnel posted on duty there.
Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir Shantmanu said the polling was all-time low but it was “absolutely incident-free and no untoward incident took place”.
In the wake of Sunday’s experience, police and paramilitary forces had been deployed in large numbers.
“It also came to my notice that in some polling booths, polling agents were also not there. They showed up and left afterwards. This thing was brought to the notice of the political parties also in between,” he said.
Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency too was scheduled to have by-polls yesterday but it was postponed to May 25 in the wake of Sunday’s violence in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tassaduq Mufti is the candidate of the ruling PDP from Anantnag constituency.
By-polls in Anantnag have been necessitated as Mehbooba has to leave the Lok Sabha seat after becoming the Chief Minister in April last year.
About the by-polls in Anantnag constituency, Shantmanu told NDTV, “We will examine the (security) situation at that point of time but I don’t think this much of deployment will be needed at any point of time in future because this was certainly much larger deployment.