In the by-polls that took place in the Anantnag district of Kashmir valley, daughter of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mehbooba Mufti set a new record with her fourth consecutive win in the J&K Assembly. Mufti Mohammad was elected from the same constituency, until his demise on January 7 this year. Mehbooba Mufti lodged her victory against eight other candidates, her strongest opponent being Congress candidate Hilal Ahmad Shah. Third in line was National Conference’s Iftikhar Hussain Misgar.
Her win was remarkable, with a steep margin of around 12000 votes, as reported by TOI . This was despite the extremely low voter turnout. From a voter bank of about 84000, only 28446 (approx 34%) actually voted. While the opposition cries foul and allege that Mehbooba Mufti doctored this result by adopting false means to meet her interests, her victory margin summed up to be double than that of her father, NET reports.
Before this, Mehbooba has won seats from Bijbehara (1996), Pahalgam (2002) and Wachi (2008). She is currently serving as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, for which she left her Lok Sabha seat (which, incidentally, she also won from Anantnag) after her father, the state’s CM, passed away. In case she hadn’t won, Mehbooba Mufti would have had to either step down as Chief Minister of state, or perhaps lobby for a seat in the other house. It is mandatory for the CM to secure a seat from either houses of the state legislature.
Mufti is also the first woman to serve as Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir.