Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti won the Anantnag by-election on Saturday comfortably, defeating her nearest rival of the Congress by over 12,000 votes, even as the opposition cried foul and described her victory as the "murder of democracy".
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti, who became CM on April 4, got 17,700 votes while Congress' Hilal Ahmad Shah secured only 5,600 votes of the nearly 28,500 votes polled on Wednesday.
Hussain Misghar of National Conference came third with a little over 2,800 votes in the constituency that was once a bastion of his party.
Mehbooba Mufti's victory margin was double that of her father, the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who had in 2014 won by around 6,000 votes in the constituency.
Opposition candidates of the Congress and NC alleged that the Chief Minister "engineered" her victory by using the government machinery in her favour.
The Congress' Shah alleged discrepancies in some Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) as they were "not sealed properly" and that postal ballots were counted as "bogus votes".
Congress and National Conference supporters also created a ruckus inside the counting hall, Government Degree College, Anantnag, by shouting anti-government slogans.
However, PDP termed the protest as a frustration over defeat.
By-election was needed because of death of then Chief Minister Sayeed who represented the constituency in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly that has an effective strength of 87.
Sayeed passed away in New Delhi on January 7 after a brief illness.
Mehbooba Mufti was sworn in as the first woman chief minister of the state on April 4. It is necessary for a CM or any other minister in the state to become a member of either house of state's bicameral legislature within six months of being sworn in.
She represents Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in the Parliament. Mehbooba Mufti will now have to resign her parliamentary seat.