» Election » NC-Cong sweep J&K; Lone loses

NC-Cong sweep J&K; Lone loses

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
Last updated on: May 16, 2009 21:39 IST
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The Congress-National Conference ruling alliance swept the parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir winning five of the six seats.

The prestigious Srinagar constituency was won by the National Conference patron, Dr. Farooq Abdullah who defeated his opposition People's Democratic Party rival, Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari by more than 32000 votes.

The South Kashmir seat, the PDP bastion was also won by the NC candidate, Mirza Mehboob Beg defeating the Peoples Democratic Party candidate Peer Mohammad Hussain by more than five thousand votes.

The victory of the NC candidate has shocked the PDP leadership who had won 12 of the 16 south Kashmir assembly seats in the state assembly polls held in December 2008. The NC win from Anantnag is sure to create flutter in PDP rank and file who till now has been firmly entrenched in south Kashmir. The win has, however, boosted the NC's morale.

North Kashmir's Baramulla seat was also won by Sharief-ud-Din Shariq of the NC Congress party combine where the senior separatist leader, Sajad Gani Lone finished third after Mohammad Dilawar Mir of PDP. While Shariq polled 2,03,022 votes, Mir polled 1,38,208 votes. Sajad Lone could muster only 65,403 votes.

Both the Jammu and the Udhampur seats were retained by the Congress candidates, Madan Lal Sharma and Chowdhary Lal Singh defeating their BJP rivals. The Congress win in Jammu where the BJP candidate, Leela Karan Sharma who led the Amarnath land agitation last year is seen as 'a victory of secular forces against the right wing in the constituency'.

The BJP had won eleven seats for the first time in the state assembly elections in Jammu held last year.

An independent candidate, Ghulam Hassan Khan defeated the Congress NC candidate, P.Namgyal in the Ladakh constituency by over three thousand votes. By-polls for the two assembly seats, Bhaderwah in Jammu region and Sonawar in Kashmir have also been won by the alliance candidates.

While Mohammad Yasin Shah of the NC defeated his PDP rival, Mohammad Ashraf Mir by just 50 votes, Sharief Niaz of the Congress party defeated his BJP rival by 463 votes in Bhaderwah.  "The UPA victory is going to help us a long way in turning the state into a model as promised by the Prime Minister," state chief minister Omar Abdullah said in Srinagar.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar