Farooq Walks Away With Lost Srinagar Seat

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Srinagar: The National Conference Saturday regained the Central Kashmir Parliamentary seat, with its candidate and party patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah emerging victorious by a margin of over 10,000 votes. He defeated his nearest rival Nazir Ahmed Khan of ruling Peoples Democratic Party-BJP combine.

Srinagar Parliamentary constituency comprises of 15 assembly segments spread over three districts of Budgam, Srinagar and Ganderbal and has 12,61,395 electorate.

Record low number of 89883 voters (7.14 percent) exercised their franchise in violence marred bypolls on April 9, while re-poll was held in 38 polling stations of district Budgam on April 13, recording an overall poll percentage of just 2 percent.

Dr Farooq Abdullah polled 48555 votes while Nazir Ahmed Khan of PDP polled 37779 votes.

The National Conference had lost the seat to PDP’s erstwhile leader Tariq Hamid Karra in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with a big margin of 42,280 votes.

However, the seat fell vacant after Karra resigned from Parliament and his party membership in protest against PDP forming a coalition government with BJP in 2016.  He later joined Congress.  

This will be the third term as Lok Sabha member for Abdullah

Dr Abdullah and Khan were among nine candidates seeking mandate from the constituency though there was a direct contest between NC and PDP.

Out of the other candidates Bikram Singh of J&K Liberal Democratic Party polled 497 votes, Chetan Sharma of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha polled 198 votes, Sajad Reshi of Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (S) polled 155 votes and independent candidates Sajjad Hussain Beigh, Ghulam Hassan Dar, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Mehraj Khurshid Malik polled 363, 199, 630 and 575 votes respectively.

Among the 15 assembly segments in the constituency, spread over three districts of Badgam, Srinagar and Ganderbal, seven are represented by PDP, seven by NC and one PDF.

The constituency remained a stronghold of NC since 1975 when the party (NC) started participating in the democratic process following the Indira-Sheikh accord.

However, in 1996, the seat was won by Congress candidate Ghulam Mohammad Mir when NC did not field any candidate as majority NC leaders, including Dr Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were living outside the valley due to militancy.

Before 1967, members to Lok Sabha were being nominated from Jammu and Kashmir.

Former prime minister of the state Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was the first to represent the Srinagar constituency in 1967.

However, in 1971 Shamim Ahmad Shamim, an independent candidate supported by ‘Mahaz Raishumari Front’, headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, won from the constituency.

Later after the Indira-Sheikh accord in 1975, Begum Akbar Jehan, mother of Dr Abdullah represented the seat in 1977 as NC nominee.

Abdul Rashid Kabli of NC represented the seat in 1984 and Mohammad Shafi Bhat (NC) in 1989. Congress candidate Ghlam Mohammad Mir Magami won in 1996. Meanwhile, Omar Abdullah represented the constituency in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

In 2009, Dr Abdullah won from the constituency as NC nominee and become minister in the UPA government.

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