NC wrests all 3 LS seats in Kashmir from PDP; BJP’s Jugal, Jitendra get 2nd term

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 5/24/2019 11:55:39 AM

Congress’ stratagem goes haywire, `Lotus’ again blooms in cold desert

JAMMU/SRINAGAR, May 23: Maintaining countrywide trend while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday retained its all three Lok Sabha seats in Ladakh and Jammu, National Conference too reaped the harvest of ‘anti-PDP’ wave in Valley by wresting all three seats from its bête-noire in Kashmir.
In Kashmir, National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and his party colleague and former Speaker Mohammed Akbar Lone won Srinagar and Baramulla LS seats respectively. In Jammu region, BJP’s sitting MPs Jugal Kishore Sharma and Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh successfully managed to retain their seats from Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Kathua-Doda parliamentary constituencies respectively.
Interesting result came from the cold desert, where Congress’ stratagem, of not taking any action against its rebel candidate for contesting against its official candidate, just to keep both Kargil and Leh districts in good humour, went haywire. This clearly helped ‘Lotus’ to bloom yet again there in Ladakh and that too with a big margin this time.
However, the biggest electoral upset in the state was witnessed in Anantnag parliamentary constituency, considered to be PDP bastion, with National Conference candidate and former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi defeating former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. PDP which had won all the three seats in 2014 Lok Sabha seats could not win even a single seat this time. Mehbooba not only lost from Anantnag and rather finished at third place after PCC chief G A Mir. In the low-turnout contest, Masoodi, a political greenhorn, fought off a stiff challenge from Congress state president G A Mir, defeating him by a margin of over 6,000 votes.
PDP had to pay the price for forming the coalition government with BJP in the state despite getting votes in the assembly polls for keeping away BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.
The civilians killing during 2017 unrest also badly hit the PDP in the Lok Sabha polls. This was evident from the very low turnout of voters in PDP's strong holds.
Hardly any campaigning was possible in Shopian and Pulwama districts of Anantnag constituency due to security problems. Even in Anantnag and Kulgam districts the campaigning was limited to a few places only for security reasons.
Farooq Abdullah won the prestigious Srinagar Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 70,000 votes. He bagged 106731 votes while his nearest rival PDP candidate Syed Mohsin secured only 36,705 votes.
This will be Farooq’s fourth term in the Lok Sabha, having been a member in 1980, 2009 and 2017 previously.
In Anantnag, NC’s Masoodi defeated Mehbooba and J&K Pradesh Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir. Masoodi got 40032 votes while Mir and Mehbooba Mufti bagged 32879 and 30223 votes respectively.
From Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, NC candidate, Mohammad Akbar Lone secured 131869 votes while Peoples Conference candidate, Raja Ajaz Ali got 102212. Independent candidate Engineer Shiekh Rashid polled more than one lakh votes.
In 2014 polls, NC had lost all the three seats. PDP's victory had saw high poll percentage. Even Dr Farooq lost to PDP candidate, Dr Tariq Hamid Qarra. After Qarra's resignation from PDP and parliament, the bye elections were held in 2017 and Farooq emerged victorious.
In Udhampur seat of Jammu region, Dr Jitedra Singh defeated Congress's Vikramaditya Singh, the son of Sadr-e-Riyasat Dr Karan Singh, with a margin of 3.57 lakh votes. Jitendra Singh secured 7,24, 311 while Vikramaditya scored 367059 votes. JKNPP’s Harsh Dev Singh, BSP’s Tilak Raj Bhagat and Dogra Swabhimaan Sangathan’s Chowdhary Lal Singh bagged 24319, 16601, 19049 votes respectively.
In 2014, Jitendra Singh was described as a giant-killer as he had defeated former Union Minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
In Jammu-Poonch parliamentary constituency, BJP's Jugal Kishore won by a margin of 2.89 lakhs as he secured 8,40, 214 while Congress candidate Raman Bhalla finished second with 5,51,187 votes. BSP’s Badri Nath, Dogra Swabhimaan Sangathan’s Chowdhary Lal Singh and JKNPP’s Prof Bhim Singh secured 14053, 6849 and 3705 votes respectively.
The Congress drew blank across the state even though the National Conference and the PDP had not fielded candidates for Jammu and Udhampur seats in order to consolidate anti-BJP vote.
Even in Ladakh, BJP’s candidate Jamyang Tsering Namgyal defeated an independent candidate Sajjad Hussain Kargili, supported by both NC and PDP, by a margin of 9763 votes. Namgyal bagged 41315 votes while Sajjad bagged 31552 votes. Congress’ official candidate Rigzin Spalbar could get only 20447 votes while party’s rebel candidate Asgar Ali Karbalai bagged 29069 votes thus ensuring BJP’s victory.
Rebel Congress candidate spoiled the game for the grand old party and Sajjad Hussain – a journalist turned politician.
In keenly fought elections, some of the candidates did not even cross the margins of 1000 votes.
In Anantnag lok Sabha constituency Nisar Ahmad Wani of Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party got 544, another candidate Surinder Singh Pragatishil Samajwadi Party (Lohia) 173.
Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather Independent got 330 votes, Ridwana Sanam Independent 402 votes, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat Independent got 183 votes Zubair Masoodi Independent got 533 votes, Mirza Sajad Hussain Beigh Independent candidate got 420 votes Shams Khwaja Independent got 759 votes Ali Mohammad Wani independent got 804 votes.
However there are more candidates who didn’t cross the mark of 1000 including Kyasir Ahmad Sheikh Independent who got 825 votes. Another candidate from Srinagar constituency Sajjad Ahmad Dar as Independent candidate got 614 votes. Scenario was no more different in Jammu as well.
In Jammu after BJP’s historic win, state party chief Ravinder Raina described it, “a victory of nationalism in the country.” Both NC and BJP celebrated their victories at their party offices by distributing sweets amid drums beats and bursting of firecrackers.
“It is a vote for nationalism in the battle of nationalists and ‘anti-nationalists’. It is a victory of the country’s people. It is a victory of nationalism,” Raina told reporters here. Later BJP activists also took out a mega rally here on Thursday to celebrate the overwhelming Lok Sabha results in favour of the saffron party across large swathes of the country. MLC Surinder Ambardar led the rally comprising over 40 vehicles carrying hundreds of workers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Jugal, who won Jammu-Poonch LS seat, said people voted for the “courageous and bold steps” taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Asked whether it was Balakote or development that is credited to the BJP trends, he said that everything that is taken in the interest of the country including security, development and peace and progress goes to the credit of government. Asked if his party would scrap Article 370 and 35-A if voted back to power, he said it is already in the BJP’s poll manifesto.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, after winning the seat, said the media and the opposition could not see the “Modi wave”, but the people of the country proved it.
“They were saying the Modi wave was only in 2014. They said there was no Modi wave this time, but people proved it,” he said. “It is a victory of the people of this region. In spite of the analysis being done by our media friends, my voters have tried to be wiser. I bow before my people for voting for me,” he said.



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