BIJBEHARA: The PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s “milk and toffee” remark during the 2016 unrest in the Valley has come to haunt her as people angry with the comments stayed away from polling booths in her native Bijbehara and her home Assembly constituency of Anantnag on Tuesday.
Her cinematographer brother Tassaduq Mufti, whom she had made minister in her government, did not cast his vote. Mehbooba’s cousin Sajjad Ahmad Mufti, a PDP leader, his wife, son and daughter and aunt Mufti Abida did not turn up at the booth to exercise their right to franchise.
Bijbehara also reported the highest concentration of polling stations where zero votes were cast. Among the 65 booths in Anantnag where zero votes were cast, 40 were located in Bijbehara.
A septuagenarian Mohammad Ramzan said he has voted against the PDP and BJP.
“Mehbooba brought BJP and RSS to Kashmir. Her government killed 100 civilians and injured over 12,000. Her government blinded and maimed the youth by allowing the use of pellets guns,” he said.
Anantnag saw a turnout of 13.61 per cent. Elections for this seat are being conducted in three phases. With Tuesday’s polling, voting has been held in 302 Lok Sabha constituencies apart from Anantnag.
In adjoining Guree, where two polling stations were set up, out of 2130 voters, only 19 had polled their votes by noon.
Mufti had apparently lost her cool at a press conference in September 2016 during which she accused the protesters of putting themselves in the line of fire.
“Did a 14-year-old go to buy toffee when he attacked police station in Damhal Hanjipora? Did he go there to purchase milk?” Mehbooba had said.
A voter Zahoor Ahmad said Mehbooba hurt peoples’ trust by aligning with the BJP.
“How can we forget those (milk and toffee) words? It is engraved in our minds. Because of her betrayal, we have lost trust in mainstream politics and politicians.”