SRINAGAR: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which emerged as the single largest party in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, has managed to hold its stronghold in South Kashmir and wrested Srinagar from the NC, while the BJP, which swept polls in Jammu, could not open its account in the Valley and Ladakh region.
At least 15 ministers of the outgoing Assembly, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, lost the elections.
The PDP got 28 seats followed by the BJP with 25 seats, the NC 15 and the Congress 12. While, the CPM got one seat, the People Conference of Sajjad Gani Lone won two seats, and four seats went to independent candidates. The PDP retained its stronghold in the twin districts of South Kashmir - Pulwama and Shopian. The party won all the six seats from the two districts. Zahoor Ahmad Mir and Khalil Ahmad Band were elected for the third time from Pampore and Pulwama constituencies respectively.
Three debutants -- Muhammad Yousuf Mir, Aijaz Ahmad Mir and economist Dr Haseeb Drabu -- won from Shopian, Wachi and Rajpora Assembly seats respectively.
The party made strong inroads in Srinagar district, considered a stronghold of the NC. The NC represented all the eight seats from the districts in the outgoing Assembly. However, in this election, they only managed to retain there seats.
The PDP wrested Sonawar, Batamaloo, Amira Kadal, Hazratbal and Zadibal seats from the NC.
From Sonawar seat, the PDP’s Mohammad Ashraf Mir defeated outgoing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while in Hazratbal Asia Naqash defeated the NC’s Mohammad Sayeed Akhoon.
15 Ministers Lost
About 15 ministers - eight from the Congress, six from the NC and one from the Democratic Party Nationalist lost the election.
Omar lost election from Sonawar constituency to PDP’s Mohammad Ashraf Mir.
He, however, won elections from Beerwah seat in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
NC heavyweight and Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather lost the poll from Chrar-e-sharif seat. He was seeking reelection for the seventh time from the seat.
Senior Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand lost to the BJP candidate from Chhamb constituency. Besides Tara, other Congress ministers who lost the elections include Health Minister Taj Mohiuddin, Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Horticulture Minister Raman Bhalla, PHE Minister Sham Lal Sharma, Cooperatives Minister Manohar Lal Sharma, R&B Minister Abdul Majid Wani and Haj and Auqaf Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed.
Apart from CM and Rather, other NC ministers who had to bite the dust include Social Welfare Minister Sakina Itoo, Law Minister Mir Saifullah, CAPD Minister Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, Planning Minister Ajay Kumar Sadhotra.
Agriculture Minister and DPN leader Ghulam Hassain Mir lost elections from Gulmarg constituency.
No Lotus Bloom in Ladakh, Valley
The BJP failed to open its account in Kashmir and Ladakh. Although the party had contested most of the 46-seats in the Valley and all four seats in Ladakh, the party couldnot wrestle a single seat in the Muslim dominated Valley and Ladakh.
The saffron party won 25 out of the 36 Assembly seats in the Jammu region.