Srinagar: National Conference (NC) President, Farooq Abdullah reclaimed the Srinagar parliamentary seat after three years. He was defeated in 2014 by the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Tariq Hameed Karra.
Karra’s victory was termed historic as it was Abdullah’s first electoral defeat in a 40-year-long political career. Abdullah’s victory, which saw him beat his PDP rival by ten thousand votes in last week’s bye-election, was significant as the victory helped National Conference regain control of the Srinagar constituency that has historically been their safe option. The polling, marred by protests and deaths, registered the lowest ever voter turnout in Kashmir.
It was Karra who, despite low voter turnout, was able to shore up some support for Farooq. A founding member of Peoples Democratic Party, Karra was PDP’s general secretary when he defeated Farooq in a bitterly fought contest in 2014. Karra later left PDP and joined Congress who fighting the by-polls in alliance with NC.
Abdullah, after winning the election said he would not resign from the parliamentary seat since he “believes in democracy”, putting to rest speculations of his resignation due to low low voter turnout.