‘Postponement Will Be A Win For Hurriyat’

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Srinagar: If the Election Commission – which is currently deliberating and consulting stakeholders on the issue in the Valley – does decide to call off the polls, it would effectively be a huge victory for separatists in the Valley, who have been calling for a poll boycott, observer said.

Starting with the 1996 polls, no election has been called off due to violence in Kashmir – even during the peak of militancy. Sunday’s election will go in history as one of the bloodiest democratic exercises in history, with an abysmally low voter turnout of 7.14 percent.

In the 1989 Lok Sabha election, when insurgency had just erupted in the state, the Srinagar parliamentary constituency witnessed just 5.18 percent participation. Those were some of the worst days for electoral democracy in Kashmir, as the summer capital witnessed no contest at all. No one filed the nomination papers other than National Conference’s Mohammad Shafi Bhat, who won uncontested.

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