Jammu & Kashmir: Parliamentary elections
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Avalanche as BJP, PDP bury NC-Congres
M Saleem Pandit
The Times of India May 17 2014
Srinagar: The ruling National Conference-Congres alliance was routed in Jammu & Kashmir with the BJP and People's Democratic Party (PDP) getting three seats each.
NC leader and Union minister Farooq Abdullah lost from Srinagar while his cabinet colleague, Ghulam Nabi Azad, from Udhampur. This is Abdullah's first defeat in his 30-year political career. Azad lost to BJP's Jitendra Singh and Abdullah to PDP's Tariq Hameed Karra.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti won from Anantnag while her party colleague, Muzaffar Baig, bagged the Baramulla seat. In Ladakh, Thupstan Chhewang of the BJP won a close contest with independent candidate Ghulam Raza.
Voter turnout, 1967-2014
Voter turnout, 1967-2014, Srinagar constituency
BJP and NC win
National Conference headed by Farooq Abdullah swept elections in all the three Lok Sabha constituencies of the Kashmir valley, overthrowing PDP including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti from her family stronghold in Anantnag.
The 83-year-old four-time former chief minister, Farooq Abdullah, was one of the first few candidates across India declared winner early in the day. He won by a margin of over 65,000 votes against PDP’s Aga Sayed Mohsin.
Mufti, who came third in Anantnag parliamentary constituency, lost to NC candidate Hasnain Masoodi by a margin of around 10,000 votes. Congress candidate and state party president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, who was second in the race, lost by around 7,000 votes.
In Baramulla constituency, NC candidate Mohammad Akbar Lone won against People’s Conference Raja Aijaz Ali by around 30,000 votes. Engineer Rashid, who is widely known for his anti-India vitriol, stood third in the fierce triangular contest.
With Mehbooba Mufti losing her own family bastion, PDP’s existential crisis in the Valley has deepened further. Mufti conceded her defeat on twitter saying people’s anger against her was “completely justified”.
Though the voter turnout in Kashmir was abysmally poor due to militant threats and boycott call given by separatists, the poll results confirmed the widespread anger against Mehbooba Mufti, who had allied with BJP in the state. BJP managed to retain its two seats, Jammu and Ladakh.