Srinagar: National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah won the Srinagar parliamentary seat defeating his rival Nazir Ahmad Khan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by 10,776 votes.
Abdullah reclaimed his traditional Lok Sabha seat in an election that witnessed an unprecedented poll boycott, violent clashes between locals and government forces, and the killing of eight youths when government forces opened fire on them on the day the election was held.
The by-poll also registered the lowest voter turnout in any election in Kashmir at 7.14 percent. A re-poll in 38 voting stations on April 13 drew a 2% voter turnout.
Farooq Abdullah got 48,555 votes while the PDP’s Nazir Ahmed Khan got 37,779 votes. The Srinagar parliamentary constituency, which consists of fifteen assembly segments, saw neck-to-neck competition in most segments and the Budgam, Kangan and Habbakadal segments turned out to be the deciders.
In Batamalloo segment, the NC got 2,119 votes while the PDP bagged 2,362 votes. In Sonwar, the NC got 2,234 votes and the PDP 2,266 votes. In Hazratbal, the NC got 2,237 and the PDP 2,032 votes. In Kangan, the NC received 10,024 votes, more than twice the PDP’s 4,215 votes. In Eidgah, the NC got 295 votes while the PDP got 97. In Habbakadal, the NC’s 1,559 votes were more than thrice the PDP’s 451. In Khan Sahib, the NC got 3,169 votes and the PDP got 6,415. In Budgam, the NC was far ahead with 8,696 votes compared to the PDP’s 2,383. In Khanyar, the NC secured 1,828 votes and the PDP 772 votes. In Amira Kadal, the NC got 1,344 votes, less than the PDP’s 1,809. In Zadibal, the NC polled 1,750 votes, more than the PDP’s 1,506. In Ganderbal, the NC got 4,454 votes while the PDP got slightly less: 4,204. In Charar-e-Sharief, the NC got 1,597 votes, slightly less than the PDP’s 1,696.
The counting of votes began at the SKICC on Saturday morning and went on with neither the NC nor the PDP candidate coming there to know the outcome.
Of the total 89,885 votes cast, 932 voters used the NOTA option. Of the total 974 votes of migrants cast, 952 votes were found to be valid and of these the NC candidate got 184 votes and the PDP candidate secured 703 votes.
The other candidates who contested this election included Bikram Singh of J&K Liberal Democratic Party, who received 20 votes; Chetan Sharma of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, who received 5 votes; Sajad Reshi of Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (S), who got 23 votes; and Independent candidates Sajjad Hussain Beigh, Ghulam Hassan Dar, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Mehraj Khurshid Malik, who received nil, four, five and seven votes, respectively. Twenty-two migrant voters used the NOTA option.