Srinagar bypoll: Farooq Abdullah ahead of Nazir Khan

The electoral fate of nine candidates, including National Conferencepresident Farooq Abdullah, will be known today as counting of votes for the bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency began here at 8am on Saturday.

Abdullah, whose only electoral defeat has come in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, is locked in a direct contest with ruling PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan. According to early trends, Farooq Abdullah is leading by 986 votes over PDP’s Nazir Khan.

The counting of votes is under way at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC).

The counting of migrant votes is simultaneously taking place in Jammu, Udhampur and New Delhi.

The bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat was held on April 9, with the constituency recording its lowest voter turnout of 7.13 per cent.

The polling day was also marred by violence which left eight persons dead and scores of others, including security personnel, injured in clashes with stone-pelting protesters.

The Election Commission conducted a repoll on Friday on 38 polling stations which were worst hit by the poll day violence.

The repoll saw an abysmal turnout of two per cent.

?State chief electoral officer (CEO) Shantmanu on Friday visited SKICC to review the arrangements made for the counting of votes.
“The CEO inspected strong room and counting centers and received a detailed briefing of the arrangements. He was accompanied by Returning Officer and District Electoral Officer Srinagar, observers and other officers concerned,” an official spokesman said.
Shantmanu said besides the presence of observers, the entire counting will be video-graphed.

The CEO inspected the counting halls established for each of the assembly segment, and was briefed about the security arrangements inside and outside the venue.