SRINAGAR: After record low voter turnout in three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir, the BJP has hit out at mainstream parties in the Valley, accusing them of “managing the boycott (of polls) to ensure low voter turnout for their benefit”.
State BJP General Secretary (Org) Ashok Koul told this newspaper that some parties orchestrated the poll boycott in the Valley so as to derive political benefits from the poor turnout.
“Not only did militant outfits call a vote boycott, but some political parties also played their part in ensuring a low turnout in three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir. This was a clear ploy to win these seats. On May 23, we will know if this ploy worked,” he said.
The turnout dropped to a record low in all three Lok Sabha seats in the Valley this time. The Anantnag seat in south Kashmir recorded dismal 8.76% turnout, the lowest poll percentage since 1996.
The Srinagar seat logged 14.1% voter turnout, while Baramulla seat in north Kashmir recorded 34.71 per cent polling. The figures recorded were the second lowest for both seats since 1996.
Without naming any outfit, Koul said if the parties themselves work towards ensuring a low turnout for electoral benefits, it is “very unfortunate”.