Mehbooba gets her comeuppance, loses bastion to NC

Mehbooba gets her comeuppance, loses bastion to NC

Anantnag: Justice Hasnain Masoodi, a political novice fielded by the National Conference (NC) for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, defeated heavyweights like former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and Congress’s state chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir to win the south Kashmir constituency.
While the final share of votes was not available when this report was being filed, it was clear that Masoodi defeated Mir by a margin of at least 6,676 votes, while Mehbooba Mufti finished third.
Mehbooba’s dwindling political fortune was well in sight given the voting pattern in the three phases of polls for the Anantnag seat, but people had their bets placed on Mir, instead of Masoodi.
“We knew Mehbooba would have a tough time but the bets were being placed on Mir rather than Masoodi. Let us say, the anger of the people towards PDP helped him win,” a senior political analyst from south Kashmir said.
Mehbooba Mufti had not lost a single election since the formation of the PDP. This was the eighth election she had contested since the formation of PDP in 1999, and it became the first one that she lost.
Political watchers say this defeat will be very hard for Mehbooba to swallow, given the fact that south Kashmir was her bastion.
“It will not only diminish her in stature but will also be a huge question mark on the survival of her party, which is already sailing through some difficult waters,” another political watcher told Kashmir Reader.
Mehbooba, however, did put up a brave face and took to Twitter to accepter her defeat. “I have been fortunate to get the love and affection of my people. They have every right to express their anger for my failings,” Mufti wrote, adding that she accepted the verdict with humility.
She also congratulated Masoodi on his win. Soon after Masoodi’s victory was almost clear, NC President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah reached Anantnag along with some other party leaders to congratulate Masoodi.
They were accompanied by hundreds of party workers who resorted to sloganeering at the counting centre in Anantnag.
With Anantnag, the NC won all the three seats in Kashmir region, replicating PDP’s feat of 2014.