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Apni Party bags just 12 seats in its maiden election

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Srinagar: The J&K Apni Party, which was formed nine months ago, has bagged just 12 seats and little over 38,000 votes in the first election it has contested in Jammu and Kashmir.

Led by former minister and Kashmir’s top businessman Altaf Bukhari, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party was formed on March 08 with some senior leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress to give the people of Kashmir an alternative to the bipolar setup of the NC and the PDP.

While the party bagged three seats from Jammu region, nine were from Kashmir Valley. As per data, it got a vote share of over 38,000 votes.

The party’s Ajaz Ahmed Khan, a former Congress minister and veteran Gujjar leader, won DDC elections from Thuroo segment of Reasi district by 1578 votes, as per the data of election authority.

He polled 4,904 votes while Mohammad Ashraf of NC got 3,326 votes. He was a minister in the NC-Congress government and a two-time MLA.

Apni Party candidates Yasmeen won from Chasana segment of Reasi district and Nasreen Akhtar from Bhudal-new segment of Rajouri district.

The party bagged seats in Bandopra-A (Bandipora), Kunzar, Tangmarg (both in Baramulla), Tanghar (Kupwara), Kellar (Shopian), Harwan-II, Srinagar-III and Khanmoh-I (both in Srinagar).

Even as the party has not performed any way near to its own expectations, but its leaders said that they are not disheartened by the results as they gave the best during campaigning where they were facing a conglomerate of powerful regional forces of the Gupkar alliance of PDP, NC, PC, CPI-M and others.

Bukhari led his party’s campaigning in Kashmir by holding over 200 rallies, public meetings and door-to-door campaigns – but it seems that all of it has just fallen short. The party is now pinning hopes on the Independents, many of whom it had supported, hoping that some of them may come in and join it.

Pertinently, the Independents have emerged as key players by winning 50 seats, and a far greater share of votes, much ahead of even the regional major — Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“You can well imagine, a baby party fighting old and strong regional parties jointly,” Bukhari said.

Interestingly, while all the senior party leaders including Bukhari himself have not fared so well in their home turf of north Kashmir, the only consolation however came with senior leader Ghulam Hassan Mir wresting two seats of Tangmarg and Kunzar for the party, thus also reclaiming his lost ground in Gulmarg Assembly segment.

While thanking the people for the win of his party’s 12 DDC candidates and independents supported by it, across Jammu and Kashmir, Bukhari assured them that Apni Party will tirelessly work for their socio-economic development through all forums available to it.

“The Apni Party is overwhelmed by the support of the people which is reflected in the massive voter turnout in favour of our candidates. I am highly indebted to the people for reposing their trust and confidence in the Apni Party which believes in peoples’ welfare,” he observed. (With PTI inputs)

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