Congress leaders admit cross voting by party workers

ANANTNAG: The pre-poll alliance with its coalition partner Congress proved to be of no help for National conference in this parliamentary segment as the poll results clearly suggest that the congress workers either indulged in cross voting or chose to stay away from polls. In Kokernag and Dooru assembly segments represented by senior congress leaders and ministers in the Omar cabinet, PDP managed the lead of thousands of votes. In Kokernag assembly constituency, represented by senior congress leader and minister for public enterprise, Peerzada Mohammad Syed, PDP candidate and party president, Mehbooba Mufti, secured 21300 votes while as NC Beg managed 12485 votes only. In Dooru assembly segment, represented by another visible face of state congress and minister for tourism, G A Mir, PDP secured 16452 votes while as the coalition candidate managed 12485 votes only. In shangas assembly constituency where congress enjoys huge mass support, PDP candidate managed the lead of 5877 votes with PDP securing 15504 votes and NC candidate managing 9627 votes.
Senior congress leader from the constituency had lost to PDPs Peer Manzoor Hussain by a thin margin 1100 votes only in previous assembly elections.
NCs Beg himself had stated that he was banking on congress vote. “Since the PDP has fielded a strong candidate in the constituency it will not be an easy walk for me. But the poll tie-up with congress has raised my hopes as the party enjoys a good support in many pockets of south Kashmir,” Bed had told reporters on the sidelines of an election rally during campaigning.
Though Mir and Peerzada chose not answer the repeated calls, district level congress leaders admitted that they could not convince their workers to vote for NC candidate.
“The decision of the pre-poll alliance by party high command was purely an authoritative decision. It was against the wishes of ground level congress workers. We tried our best to convince our workers but failed. Our workers clearly told us not to force them for voting for Beg,” said congress district president for Anantnag and candidate for Shangas assembly segment, Gulzar Wani.
He also said that the poor performance of NC candidate as parliament member was one of the main reasons of anti-incumbency.
“Beg completely failed to deliver as parliamentarian. Most of our workers saw him only during the election rallies recently. Had his performance been satisfactory it would have been easy for us to convince our workers,” Wani said.
Another district level senior congress leader, wishing anonymity also admitted that the congress workers either stayed away from polls or voted for PDP.
“Some of my workers clearly told me that if I forced them to vote they will vote for PDP after which I had no answer,” he said.

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