Cong-NC alliance flops in J-K

The ruling National Conference (NC)-Congress alliance was decimated in Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha elections, with the regional Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sweeping the Kashmir Valley and the BJP claiming both seats in Jammu region and the lone seat in the Ladakh region.

Senior Congress leader and Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, making his maiden bid from the state to Lok Sabha, was defeated by BJP national spokesperson Dr Jitendra Singh by a margin of over 60,976 votes from the Udhampur-Kathua seat. Azad secured 4,26,393 votes, while Singh polled 4,87,369.

NC chief and Union minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, who had never lost an election till now, was trounced by PDP candidate Tariq Hamid Karra by a margin of 42,183 votes from the Srinagar-Budgam seat. Firebrand PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who tested electoral waters after a break in the 2009 polls, defeated her nearest rival Dr Mehboob Beg of the NC by 65,417 votes from the Anantnag-Pulwama constituency. While Mehbooba secured 2,00,429 votes Beg polled 1,35,012 votes.

The other winner from Kashmir was senior PDP leader and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beg, who defeated incumbent NC MP Sharif-ud-din Shariq by 29,229 votes. While the PDP secured 1,75,277 votes, the NC got 1,46,058 and Peoples Conference, led by separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajjad Lone, polled 71,154.

State BJP chief Jugal Kishor Sharma won the Jammu-Poonch seat by a whopping 2,57,280 votes, defeating two-time Congress MP Madan Lal Sharma.

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