Thirty three percent of voters exercised their franchise in Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday during the constituency's bypolls, a slightly higher number than was expected, according to election officials. Voting started at 7 am amid heavy security at 102 polling stations across 63 locations, and continued till 6 pm. The seat has been vacant since the death of former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7. Election officials told that voting was low in the city, while it was higher in rural and peripheral areas.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is a prime contender in the bypolls. All chief ministers need to be member of the state legislature within six months of being sworn in. Mufti was sworn in on April 4. Apart from Mufti, there are seven other candidates. The most popular faces in the fray include Iftikhar Hussain Misgar of the National Conference and Hilal Ahmad Shah of the Congress.

All separatist leaders and guerrilla outfits had asked voters to boycott the polls. However, no violence was reported during the bypoll. Counting will take place on June 25.

South Kashmir, including districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam, has traditionally been a political stronghold of the PDP. In the 2014 Assembly elections, Sayeed had defeated Hilal Ahmad Shah by a margin of 6,000 votes.