A day before campaigning ends for the Anantnag by-elections, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made a last ditch effort to draw voters saying that it was a vote for her “honour”.
Ms Mufti, 57 – who has to win the vote and be elected a legislator to remain as Chief Minister – said, “You don’t have to vote to elect chief minister. This vote is for my honour.”
On her campaign trail, she has invoked her father Mufti Mohammad Sayed – whose death in January resulted in her accession – and said she plans to fulfil the agenda left behind by him.
Instead of big public rallies, Mehbooba has focused on addressing small gatherings, asking people about their problems and pledging to address them once elections are over.
While some are hopeful about her promises on governance, it’s her alliance with BJP which being strongly questioned.
“We will vote for her and hope she deliver on promises she has made,” said Raja Begum, an elderly woman after listening to Mehbooba’s brief speech at Gund Fatehpore village.
“It was easy for her to win the election if she had not aligned with BJP,” said Haris Ahmad, another attendee.
While it’s a multi-cornered contest, Ms Mufti’s main challenge is from the Congress. The party has brought in actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar to campaign.
Although the Peoples Democratic Party is certain about Mehbooba Mufti’s victory, it’s certainly not going to be a cakewalk for her, political observers say.