The voter turnout in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections has increased significantly but the number of aspiring lawmakers dipped substantially compared to 2008 polls when a record 1,344 candidates tried their luck on 87 constituencies.
The number of candidates this year has dropped by nearly 39 per cent compared to the polls held in 2008.
According to the data provided by the state election authorities, 1,344 candidates contested the 2008 assembly elections to the 87-member House but the number this year fell to 821.
The number of Independent candidates fell by more than 46 per cent from 513 in 2008 to 276 this year.
While the Independents constituted more than 36 per cent of the total candidates in 2008, only four (around five per cent) of them were successful.
The state assembly elections in 2008 were held in the backdrop of Amarnath Land row agitation that led to the fall of Ghulam Nabi Azad-led Congress-PDP coalition government and polarised the state polity on regional and religious lines.
Coming close on the heels of the killing of more than 60 persons across the state -- most of the death took place in the Valley, the voter turnout was expected to take a dip.
However, not only did the voter turnout showed an upward swing, the number of candidates who contested the polls became a state record.