Mehbooba to file nomination papers for by-poll today

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will on Tuesday file nomination papers for the June 19 by-poll to Anantnag Assembly constituency.

Notably, Mehbooba is currently a Lok Sabha member from the South Kashmir Constituency. The by-polls from Anantnag Assembly seat were necessitated due to the death of her father and then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January 7 this year.

To remain the Chief Minister, the 56-year-old PDP leader needs to become an MLA or MLC within the mandatory period of six months of her swearing-in. The last date for filing of nominations is June 1 while scrutiny of papers will be conducted the next day. The candidates can withdraw their nomination till June 4. The voting will be held on June 19 and counting of votes on June 22.

EC had earlier scheduled the by-poll to this seat along with eight other Assembly constituencies for May 16 but it was postponed after the state government sought so, saying the law and order situation was “not conducive”. Mehbooba had earlier been elected to the state Assembly three times in the past 20 years with her first victory coming in 1996 elections from Bijbehara segment as a Congress candidate.

She resigned from the House in 1999 when Mufti Sayeed floated regional People’s Demoratic Party along with her. She won the 2002 Assembly polls from Pahalgam segment in Anantnag district but resigned two years later after she was elected to the Lok Sabha from south Kashmir. Her father won the by-poll to Pahalgam seat held that year.

She won the 2008 Assembly Elections from Wachi assembly segment in south Kashmir Shopian district and completed first full six-year term in the House till 2014. She has never lost an Assembly Election and her only electoral defeat so far has come in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections when she lost to arch rival and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

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