The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday blamed the Election Commission on the low voter turnout in Srinagar bypolls. It has to be noted that the bypolls in Srinagar witnessed a voter turnout of only 7%. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday said that the Election Commission had gone with their decision to conduct bypolls in Srinagar despite the MHA’s advice about not doing so. The Election Commission is known to have overruled the Home Ministry’s memorandum. Today, an all-party delegation met with the Election Commission. 16 opposition parties that went to the meeting further demanded that the next polls be conducted with the help of ballot papers and boxes instead of Electronic Voting Machines.
Earlier today, it was reported by IE, that 8 people, including security personnel, had been killed in the violent clashes on Sunday. The clashes took place on the day of the polls and official reports state that around 200-300 civilians and 100 security have also been injured in the violence. Meanwhile, reports also state that 6 stone pelters had also been killed in firing in different places. Meanwhile, a couple of more deaths have also been reported: a man from Ganderbal who succumbed to his injuries and an 18-year-old, who took his last breath at Barsoo. One of the poll booths in Ganderbal had been set on fire after protesters had started throwing petrol bombs.
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The Srinagar Lok Sabha seat has three districts, namely Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, and among the main contestants were the joint candidate of the National Conference and Congress, Farooq Abdullah and PDP nominee Nazir Ahmad Khan. The seat had been vacant following the resignation od PDP’s Tariq Hameed Karra as he had quit protesting the crackdown by the security forces on the street protesters last year.