After the four rounds, Mehbooba had polled 8,549 votes followed by Hilal Ahmad Shah of Congress (2,752) and Iftikhar Misger of National Conference (9,526), District Election Authorities said.

Mehbooba is among 8 candidates in the bypoll for Anantnag Assembly seat which was necessitated due to death of incumbent MLA and then chief ministre Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7 this year.

Polling in the constituency was held on June 22 during which over 28,000 of the 84,000 voters exercised their franchise. The counting of votes was briefly suspended for 15 minutes following protests by the Congress candidate who alleged that EVMs could have been tampered with in the strong room.

An official spokesman of the Congress said the party has demanded deferment of counting in Anantnag, "as the EVMs were found without seal".

Accusing the state and the Central governments of managing lead in favour of Mehbooba Mufti, the spokesman said Congress has asked the Election authorities to stop the counting immediately.

"The party strongly urges upon the Election Commission of India to depute observers in the counting hall to ascertain the factual position," he added.

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