M A I N   N E W S

J&K Decides
NC king, Cong kingmaker
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 28
While the National Conference (NC) has emerged as the single largest party, bagging 28 of the 87 seats, the Congress has again proved to be kingmaker in the recently held elections in Jammu and Kashmir the results of which were declared today. The NC has retained its tally of 28 seats as in 2002 Assembly elections, while the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress, which had an alliance government over the past six years, followed with 21 and 17 seats, respectively.

The BJP has sprung a major surprise by emerging victorious in 11 constituencies as compared to only one in the last Assembly elections. The PDP has gained five seats and the Congress lost three against their previous tallies.

All the three former Chief Ministers — Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of the PDP and Farooq Abdullah of the NC — have been elected. The two sitting MPs from Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies and the party presidents — Omar Abdullah of the NC and Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP — are also among those elected.

Azad has been elected from his home constituency of Bhaderwah in Doda district by a margin of 30,000 votes. Farooq Abdullah, who did not contest last elections, has been elected from Hazratbal by more than 4,000 votes, while he scraped through Sonwar by only 157 votes. Omar Abdullah, who was defeated last time, has wrested the home constituency of Ganderbal from PDP’s Qazi Mohammad Afzal by a margin of 3,600 votes. PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been elected from Anantnag constituency while his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has been elected from Wachi constituency of Shopian, both in south Kashmir.

Out of 87 seats, the results of which have been declared, the NC got the largest number of 28 seats, retaining its tally of the last elections. This is followed by the PDP (21), Congress (17), BJP (11) and others (10). The PDP has gained five seats from 16 seats in the last Assembly taking the tally to 21. The party is making inroads into the Jammu region as well where it has bagged Mendhar in Poonch and Darhal in Rajouri district. It represented 16 seats out of 46 in the valley in the last Assembly and this time the count has gone up to 21. The party has gained the Bandipore and Lolab constituency. Out of 16 seats in four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam in south Kashmir, the PDP has won 12 while two seats have been retained by the Congress and one each by the NC and the CPM. The state secretary of the CPM has retained his home constituency of Kulgam for the third consecutive term while it had two seats in the last Assembly.

The PDP patron and former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, wrested the Anantnag seat from the NC by defeating its provincial president Mehboob Beigh by a margin of 5,000 votes. However, the NC managed to get the Noorabad seat in Anantang district where senior PDP leader and former minister Abdul Aziz Zargar was defeated by Sakina Itto of the NC. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has been elected from Wachi constituency of Shopian district by defeating a CPM candidate.

In the last Assembly elections held in 2002, the NC had emerged as the single largest party winning 28 seats, followed by 20 seats of the Congress, 16 by PDP, BJP-1, CPM-2, BSP-1, Independents-13, Panthers Party-4 and others-2.



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