SRI NAGAR: Like other parts of the country, the anti-Congress wave sprung shock and surprises in Jammu and Kashmir. Contrary to everyone’s expectations, two political heavy weights and senior union ministers - Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, and Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, were dethroned. The PDP and BJP won three seats each.
Azad lost his maiden election from his home state, while Farooq lost his first ever election. Azad had contested from Udhampur-Doda seat and the party thought him a safe bet. In the vote count, Azad lead comfortably over his BJP rival Dr Jitendra Singh till noon. However, after noon, he began trailing and never recovered. He ultimately lost by 60,976 votes.
Farooq’s defeat from Srinagar-Budgam seat was another major shock. Srinagar, and parts of central Kashmir, which were considered to be stronghold of the NC, voted against Farooq, who lost by 42,183 votes, while his PDP rival and former Finance Minister Tariq Karra got 1,57,546 votes.
The NC’s sitting MP from Anantnag-Pulwama seat in South Kashmir, Mehboob Beg, could not prevent PDP president Mehbooba Mufti from winning from her stronghold. Mehbooba won by 65,417 votes by securing 2,00,429 votes, while Beg got 1,35,012 votes. Her win comes as no surprise as South Kashmir is considered stronghold of the PDP.
NC MP from Baramulla-Kupwara Sharif-ud-Din Shariq too had to bite the dust as he lost to PDP’s Muzaffar Hussain Baig by a margin of 29,219 votes.