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LS Polls: NC sweeps Valley; BJP pockets Jammu, Ladakh

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PC finishes second in north, third in centre; PDP second in centre, third in south, fourth in north Kashmir

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference swept all the three parliamentary seats of Kashmir Valley while as BJP won two seats of Jammu Divisionn and only seat of Ladakh.

Mohammad Akbar Lone of NC won north Kashmir’s Baramulla-Kupwara constituency with a margin of more than 29000 voted defeating Peoples Conference candidate Raja Aijaz Ali.

Akbar Lone got 131869 votes while as Raja Aijaz Ali secured 102212. Awami Itehad Party chief, independent candidate, Er. Rasheed secured 100042 and PDP’s Abdul Qayoom Wani could only manage 52766. Congress too showed some presence by getting 34001 votes out of total 446673 votes polled.

NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah retained the central Kashmir’s Srinagar-Ganderbal seat the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency by defeating his nearest rival by over 70,000 votes, entering the lower house of Parliament for the fourth time.

Abdullah polled 1,06,750 votes, while his nearest rival PDP candidate Aga Syed Mohsin polled 36,700 votes, an election official said.

He said the NC leader secured a total of 57.14 percent of the total votes polled in the election to the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, which is spread over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal.

Mohsin secured 19.64 percent of the total votes polled, the official said.

Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference polled 28,773 votes (15.4 percent), while BJP’s Khalid Jehangir was at the fourth position with 4,631 votes (2.48 percent), he said.

This is the fourth win in the Lok Sabha elections for the 83-year-old Abdullah —  the three time former chief minister —  who has so far lost an election only once in his 42-year political career since his debut in 1980.

Abdullah was first elected as member of the Lok Sabha in 1980. However, he returned to state politics in the wake of failing health of his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1981. He succeeded as chief minister of the state in September 1982 following his father’s death.

Abdullah won in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, but lost to PDP candidate Tariq Hamid Karra in the 2014 elections.

However, he won the 2017 by-polls to Lok Sabha after Karra resigned from the PDP as well the Lok Sabha in 2016.

PDP president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Thursday lost the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat to National Conference’s Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi by nearly 10,000 votes.

Masoodi, who was fighting his maiden electoral battle, polled 40,180 votes, while Mehbooba secured 30,524 votes, officials said.

Congress’s state unit president Ghulam Ahmad Mir was the runner up with 33,504 votes, they said.

They said the NC candidate secured 32.59 per cent of the total votes polled on the seat which went to polls in three phases due to security reasons.

Mir polled 26.76 per cent while Mehbooba 24.6 per cent of the votes.

This is only second electoral defeat for Mufti since she joined politics in 1996. She had lost the 1999 Lok Sabha poll from Srinagar constituency to NC leader Omar Abdullah.

In Udhampur seat of Jammu region, former union minister and senior BJP leader Jatindra Singh defeated his nearest rival Congress’ Vikramaditya Singh while as party’s Jugal Kishore won Jammu-Poonch defeating Congress party’s Raman Bhalla.

BJP’s J T Namgyal defeated independent candidate and journalist-turned-politician Sajjad Hussain as the bickering within Congress saw two party leaders contesting. Both were defeated.

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