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After 30 years, Poonch-Haveli goes to Cong
Shariq Majeed
Tribune News Service

Poonch, December 15
The Congress today pulled off a big victory the Poonch-Haveli constituency ahead of the assembly elections slated for next year.

Its candidate Jehangir Mir registered a win by defeating his nearest rival, independent candidate and one time party colleague Yashpal Sharma by a good margin of 4,398 votes.

Mir secured 20,697 votes of the 66,468 polled votes whereas Sharma could just manage 16,299. National Conference candidate Aejaz Ahmed Jan finished third by securing 16227 votes.

The election to this seat which was necessitated following the death of NC leader and sitting MLA Ghulam Mohammad Jan saw his son Aejaz Jan fighting hard to retain the seat once held by his late father.

The election to this seat saw triangular contest between Congress candidate Jehangir Mir, NC’s Aejaz Jan and Congress rebel-turned independent candidate Yashpal Sharma.

The other candidates who were in fray here included Pardeep Sharma (BJP), Janak Singh (All J&K Kissan Mazdoor Party), Shah Muhammad Tantrey, Syed Nissar Hussain, Iftikhar Hussain Bazmi (all independent candidates).

The voting trend in four zones Poonch Urban, Khanetar, Mandi, Loran, suggested a gain for Congress in Mandi and Khanetar zones, whereas an independent Shah Muhammad Tantrey gains in Loran and Yashpal Sharma securing maximum votes in Poonch urban.

Though the biggest surprise of this by-poll was the inroads made by Shah Muhammad Tantrey in Loran once a NC bastion. Tantrey secured 7,935 votes.

The voting trend further suggests that National Conference suffered major jolts in all the zones except for in Sawjian where party registered good gains.

As soon as the Returning Officer Shahbaz Mirza announced win for Congress candidate Jehangir Mir in the by-polls, celebrations started in Syndigate Muhalla where Mir resides.

“The Congress last won the seat in 1971 when Jehangir Sahab’s uncle Ghulam Muhammad Mir emerged victorious. After 30 years we have won the seat again and will retain it,” said a Congress leader.

“We attribute this win to the performance of Congress-led Coalition government and to Azad sahib who is doing great service to the state.”

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