Only 7.14% polling was recorded in the recent bye-election to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. But this is not the lowest ever polling recorded in Jammu & Kashmir.
The recent Lok Sabha bye-election in the Srinagar constituency of Jammu & Kashmir ended in large scale violence and the death of a few people. In fact, the violence has prompted the Election Commission of India (ECI) to postpone the other bye-election scheduled in Anantnag constituency. The voting percentage in Srinagar was just over 7% and one the lowest in the history of Jammu & Kashmir. But this is not the lowest ever voting percentage in an election in Jammu & Kashmir.
Polling percentage in J&K was healthy except for in 2002
The polling percentage in the assembly elections of Jammu & Kashmir was healthy in all the elections except in 1967 and 2002. Only in those two elections, the polling percentage was less than 50%. Out of the 10 assembly general elections in the state till date, the polling percentage was more than 60% on six (6) occasions and more than 50% on eight (8) occasions. The highest ever polling percentage was recorded in 1987 (74.88).
10 Constituencies recorded less than 10% in 2002 Assembly Elections
In terms of the polling percentage in assembly constituencies,the 2002 Assembly Election was the worst ever in the history. Ten (10) different constituencies recorded less than 10% polling and a total of 15 constituencies recorded a poll percentage of less than 20% in these elections. In fact, six (6) of the 10 constituencies in 2002 polled less than 5% and the lowest was in Amirakadal.
Amirakadal recorded the worst ever polling percentage in the history of Jammu & Kashmir with just 3.06%. Out of the 74442 registered voters in Amirakadal in 2002, only 2280 exercised their franchise. The winning candidate from the Congress polled just 1163 votes, which is 1.5% of the total registered voters in that constituency.
Less than 20% was recorded in 26 different constituencies
Of all the assembly elections till date, less than 20% polling was recorded in 26 different constituencies in various years. 15 of them were in 2002, 5 of them in 1996 and the remaining 6 in 2008. Five different constituencies polled less than 20% (Amirakadal, Batamaloo, Habbakadal, Khanyar & Zadibal) on all three occasions (1996, 2002 and 2008). Less than 30% polling was recorded in 44 different constituencies in various years.
Less than 30% polling in Lok Sabha elections on 10 different occasions
As far as Lok Sabha elections are concerned, less than 30% polling was recorded on 10 different occasions in the Lok Sabha elections of 1989, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. Except in 1989, on four different occasions, both Srinagar & Anantnag recorded less than 30% polling. The lowest in a Lok Sabha general election (5.07%) was recorded in Anantnag in 1989. In the same year, Baramulla recorded 5.48%. In both 2009 and 2014 elections, Srinagar & Anantnag both recorded more than 25% polling.