Srinagar: Even as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to stage a comeback with a vengeance in majority of Indian States, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tipped to lead the country for second term, Jammu and Kashmir saw the massive win of National Conference on all three seats—Anantnag, Srinagar and Kupwara with huge margins leaving Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress and the Peoples Conference thinking. In Jammu, BJP retained the fort with Dr Jitendera Singh and Jugal Kishore
NC candidate Dr Farooq Abdullah won Srinagar seat hands down with a margin of almost 40,000 votes. He was leading with huge margin of votes since the beginning of counting in the morning and as the counting progressed, his victory became evident beyond doubt.
The NC president secured victory against PDP’s Aga Mohsin and Peoples Conference candidate Irfan Reza Ansari.
Talking to reporters soon after coming to know about his victory, Dr Farooq said that he was thankful to the voters for reposing faith in him and was now very hopeful that the new dispensation at New Delhi will handle Kashmir in a most humane manner and ensure justice with the people of Kashmir.
“I hope new government at Centre will understand the ground realities in Kashmir and reach out to people with a human heart,” a visibly happy Dr Farooq said.
In north Kashmir Lok Sabha seat, where a tough contest was witnessed between NC’s Akbar Lone, PC’s Raja Aijaz Ali and PDP’s Qayoom Wani, Lone managed to bag the seat with a heavy margin while as PC stood second in the fight. The independent candidate Engineer Rashid, however, stood second in the rank as he got over 100042 votes while as Lone bagged more than 131869 votes.
“I am thankful to my voters, who voted in my favour. I will go to Parliament and try to explain the sufferings of people of Kashmir so that they get relief,” Lone told reporters outside the counting centre.
In South Kashmir, the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, according to locals of Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian, paid the price for her “toffee and milk remarks.” She tasted defeat by bagging less votes against Ghulam Ahmed Mir of Congress, who stood second. NC’s Justice Hasnain Masoodi polled more than 34000 votes and bagged the seat. Mehbooba wrote on her twitter handle, while accepting the defeat: “I accept peoples’ verdict with full humility. People have right to express their anger against my failings.”
In Jammu, Dr Jitendera Singh and Jugal Kishore of BJP managed to retain fort. They had won the previous elections too and this time also had a clean sweep. “People have reposed faith in us across India and also in Jammu,” said Singh, who was MOS in PMO’s office a New Delhi.
Meanwhile, in a damage control mode, PC chairman Sajad Lone said that he was happy to see PC emerging second runner up given the vote share its candidates have got.