The National Conference retained its dominance on the Srinagar parliamentary seat as former Chief Minister and NC working president, Farooq Abdullah, defeated PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan. Abdullah reclaimed the seat after he had lost to the former PDP MP, Tariq Hameed Karra, in 2014 polls by a margin of over 40,000 votes.
Abdullah maintained the lead over Nazir Khan from the first rounds of counting only, which was held today at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convocation Center (SKICC). Out of over 89,000 votes which were counted, Abdullah got 48555 votes while as Nazir Khan, managed to get 37779 votes, in the contest which was largely marred by the violence and had witnessed only 7.1 percent voting.
In the 2014 elections, NC working president, Abdullah, had lost the elections to Karra, who recently joined Congress after he had resigned from the Srinagar parliamentary seat blaming the government of turning a blind eye to end the excesses with the people committed by the government forces. In 2014 elections, Abdullah had bagged 1.15 lakh votes against the 1.5 lakh votes which were won by Tariq Karra. Karra had romped home on the anti-incumbency factor against the NC-Congress dispensation as well as due to the resentment which was betrayed by people over the mis-handling of the 2010 unrest in Kashmir.
In 2009, Abdullah had defeated PDP’S, Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, by a margin of 30,00 votes. While Ansari had bagged 1.16 lakh votes, NC had got 1.47 lakh votes in the parliamentary elections.
The Srinagar parliamentary seat had been a bastion of the National Conference all along. In the 2004 parliament polls, former Chief Minister and NC working president, Omar Abdullah, had won the seat after he had polled 50 percent of the total votes which were cast. In the elections 18.57 percent polling was registered on the seat, which was significantly lesser than what was reported on the Baramulla seat, which had recorded the voting percentage of 35.65 percent.
In the 1999 parliamentary elections as well, NC had retained the Srinagar parliamentary seat as Omar Abdullah polled 57.2 percent votes. The seat was also held by Omar Abdullah in 1998. In the 1989 elections, NC’s Mohammad Shafi Bhat, had returned uncontested to the parliament while as the party had boycotted the 1996 parliament elections. NC had sought assurance from the Central government that the state will be provided autonomy, but it failed to get any positive response. But the party had contested the 1996 assembly elections in September and returned to power in the state.
Meanwhile, an official handout said that Farooq Abdullah of NC polled 48555 votes while Nazir Ahmed Khan of PDP polled 37779 votes. Out of the other candidates Bikram Singh of J&K Liberal Democratic Party polled 497 votes, Chetan Sharma of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha polled 198 votes, Sajad Reshi of Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (S) polled 155 votes and independent candidates Sajjad Hussain Beigh, Ghulam Hassan Dar, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Mehraj Khurshid Malik polled 363, 199, 630 and 575 votes respectively.
Out of the total 974 migrant votes polled, 952 votes were found valid. Out of these NC candidate polled 184 votes and PDP candidate polled 703 votes. Bikram Singh of J&K Liberal Democratic Party polled 20 votes, Chetan Sharma of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha polled 5 votes, Sajad Reshi of Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (S) 23 votes and independent candidates Sajjad Hussain Beigh, Ghulam Hassan Dar, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Mehraj Khurshid Malik polled nil, four, five and seven votes respectively. Twenty two migrant voters used NOTA option.