Anantnag by-polls counting suspended following ‘tampering of EVMs’ allegation by Congress leader

Srinagar: On Saturday, counting for the by-poll to south Kashmir’s Anantnag Assembly constituency was suspended following allegation from Congress candidate Hilal Ahmad Shah that the EVMs (Electronic Vending Machine) are being tampered with.

In the first round of counting, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is supposedly leading by more than 1,300 votes. Officials in their statement to a daily said that counting of the votes was brought to a halt after Shah and his aides walked out of the counting hall.

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In his statement, Shah mentioned that some of the EVMs did have a mandatory seal and that they have been reportedly changed so as to favor Mehbooba Mufti.

The District Election Authorities said that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader had polled 1,826 votes followed by Hilal Ahmad Shah of Congress (516) and Iftikhar Misger of National Conference (316) after the first round.

Results for the by-poll in Anatnag will be declared before noon today.

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The Anantnag by-poll were held following death of incumbent MLA and then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7, 2016. His Mehbooba was among the eight candidates contesting against each other for the Anantnag Assembly seat. Currently, Mehbooba Mufti represents the south Kashmir Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in Parliament.

Polling in Anantnag was held on June 22 and more than 28,000 came down to cast their vote.