SRINAGAR: A sense of the absurd in the way municipal polls have been held in Kashmir is illustrated by the contrasting fates of a husband and wife, both of whom contested the elections. The husband carried out door-to-door campaigning in nearly 100 households but ended up getting a single vote (so he believes). His wife, who did no such campaigning, won unopposed.
Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, a resident of EidGah area in downtown Srinagar, was passionate about his election campaign. He visited nearly 100 houses in his constituency but only a single voter turned up from there.
“The boycott call has really taken a toll on my campaign. Voters who agreed to vote did not even show up. I expected nearly 300 votes, but I only got one,” Ashraf told Kashmir Reader.
“My wife, who submitted her papers in another ward, has already been declared winner.”
The enthusiastic candidate now pins hope on another ward which is going for polls in another phase. The 33-year-old Ashraf said he has voted many times, sometimes for the PDP and sometimes for the NC.
“Now I decided to contest myself and do work for the people,” he said.
This reporter met Ashraf outside a polling station at Bagh-e-Mehtab community hall around 3pm, just an hour before the day’s poll was scheduled to be closed. The tall man with a protruding belly looked agitated, but confident that he will win from another ward.
Ashraf, breadwinner of a lower-middle class family, has studied only up to Class 12.