Jolt to NC-Cong; Farooq, Azad bite dust

Jolt to NC-Cong; Farooq, Azad bite dust

Jolt to NC-Cong; Farooq, Azad bite dust

In a major setback to ruling National Conference-Congress coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, opposition PDP and BJP today shared the six Lok Sabha seats in the state as two Union ministers, including Farooq Abdullah, bit the dust.

Abdullah, NC patriarch and Union minister for New and Renewable Energy, tasted his first electoral defeat in over three decades.

PDP's Tariq Hamid Karra humbled him in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency by a margin of 42280 votes.

Karra, a former Finance minister in the then PDP-led government in Jammu and Kashmir, polled 157923 votes against Abdullah's 115643.

It was a comprehensive defeat for 76-year-old Abdullah as his party lost in 12 of the 15 assembly segments comprising the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, considered to be the stronghold of National Conference.

Union Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was trounced by BJP's Jitendra Singh in Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency by a margin of 60976 votes.

Singh polled 487369 votes against Azad's 426393 as PDP's Arshid Malik came a distant third with 30458 votes.

This was the first time Azad, a former Chief Minister, had contested the Lok Sabha election from the state.

BJP president and candidate from Jammu Lok Sabha seat Jugal Kishore registered the highest winning margin of 257280 votes in the state, defeating two-time Congress MP Madan Lal Sharma.

Kishore got 619995 votes while Sharma polled 362715.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti posted a win in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency defeating her nearest National Conference rival and sitting MP Mehboob Beg by a margin of 65417 votes.

Mehbooba, who had won from Anantnag in 2004 but did not contest the 2009 polls, maintained her record of not losing an election from south Kashmir since her electoral debut in 1996.

She polled 200429 votes against Beg's 135012.

PDP stalwart and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig defeated sitting NC MP Sharif-ud-din Shariq by a margin of 29219 votes.

Baig polled 175277 votes while Shariq got 146058. Peoples Conference candidate Salam-ud-din Bajad secured 71154 votes.

BJP's Thupstan Chhewang won by the narrowest margin of 36 votes in the state, defeating Congress rebel Ghulam Raza, who contested as an independent, in Ladakh constituency.

The lead changed hands between Chhewang and Raza almost after every round of counting.

Chhewang got 31111 votes while Raza secured 31075.