Historic lowest turnout in Kashmir polls, governor says centre satisfied

The voting percentage in Kashmir hit an all-time low of only 4.27 per cent in the municipal elections this year. The state has been under Governor’s rule after coalition partners in the previous government, PDP and BJP, parted ways. The political parties have said the low turnout puts a question mark on the credibility of the elections.

In the four-phase election, no polling was taken place in 420 out of 598 municipal wards across the 10 districts of the Valley. Of these 420 wards, no candidate contested in 184 wards, while candidates in 236 others were elected unopposed.

According to the news published in the Indian Express, Satyapal Malik, the Governor has said the “numbers are irrelevant” and both he and the central government are satisfied with the conduct of the election. Results of the elections will be declared on October 20.

Omar Abdullah, who is the National Conference vice-president told The Indian Express, “By holding elections without trying to address anger on the streets and compounding that by believing that an election without NC and PDP would have any meaning, all that the central government has been able to achieve is the least credible elections in the state.”

He further added “It was the responsibility of the government to ensure maximum participation. When we were in power, we recorded 80 per cent turnout in panchayat polls and around 60 per cent in the 2014 assembly polls,” he added.