Lok Sabha elections 2019: Phase 5 will see last round of polling in Anantnag, Ladakh to vote too
Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, contesting from her pocket borough of Anantnag, faces main challenge from Congress and National Conference candidates along with 15 other candidates.Updated: May 05, 2019, 15:56 IST
Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, where polling was spread over three rounds, will witness the last round of polling on Monday when 50 constituencies across seven states will vote in phase 5 of Lok Sabha elections 2019. Also going to polls that day is the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat in the state.
Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, contesting from her pocket borough of Anantnag, faces main challenge from Congress and National Conference candidates along with 15 other candidates.
The south Kashmir constituency voted in three rounds– first was on April 23, second April 29 and last on May 6. The staggered voting in this parliamentary constituency spread across four districts – Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian – is necessitated by security concerns in the state that sends six MPs to the Lok Sabha.
The constituency, which has seen militant violence in recent months, recorded a low turnout of 12.86 per cent on April 23 and 10.32 per cent on April 29.
These elections are crucial for the political future of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mehbooba Mufti. She is up against the unease among voters and low morale within the party over PDP’s decision to form an alliance with the BJP.
In 2014, Mehbooba had won the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat by defeating NC candidate Mehboob Beg by more than 65,000 votes. When Mehbooba became J&K chief minister in 2016 after her father’s demise, she got elected from her father’s assembly seat and vacated her Lok Sabha seat with an intention to field her younger brother Tasaduq Mufti from there.
But, the poll panel had to defer by-polls for south Kashmir due to security reasons and for three years the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat remained vacant.
Anantnag will witness a triangular contest between Mehbooba Mufti, NC candidate Justice Hasnain Masoodi (retd) and Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir.
In Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency, the largest in India in terms of area, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the BJP and Rigzin Spalbar of the Congress are among the seven candidates contesting from here..
The authorities have set up 559 polling stations across four assembly segments for over 1.74 lakh electorate in the constituency spread over districts of Leh and Kargil, has four assembly segments -- Kargil, Zanskar, Leh and Nubra.
The constituency has an electoral strength of 1,74,618 voters which included 86,752 males and 85,064 females, 2,799 service voters and three transgenders, an official spokesman said on Tuesday.
Besides candidates of the Congress and the BJP, five independents in the fray included a Congress rebel and former MLA Asgar Ali Karbalai and journalist turned politician Sajjad Hussain who is enjoying the backing of arch rivals National Conference and PDP, making the contest a multi-cornered one.