Farooq snatches Srinagar from PDP

Farooq snatches Srinagar from PDP

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah won the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll on Saturday, defeating ruling PDP candidate Nazir Khan, by a margin of over 10,776 votes.

Abdullah’s victory is being seen as a major setback for the PDP, which had won all the three Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elec- tions.

This will be Abdullah’s third stint in the Lok Sabha.

While he was elected to the Lower House unopposed from Srinagar in the 1980 general election, in 2009, he defeated PDP candidate, the late Molvi Iftikhar Ansari, by a margin of nearly 32,000 votes.

The NC president has been the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir three times – 1983-1984, 1987-1990 and 1996-2002. He was appointed party president in August 1981.

But the mood at the party headquarters here was sombre.

Party spokesperson Junain Mattu said the NC will not celebrate Abdullah’s victory as eight people were killed in violence during the bypoll on April 9.

The desperation of the NC patriarch to win the politically strategic Srinagar seat could be gauged from his election campaign, where he even appealed for support from pro-separatist group Jamaat-e-Islami.

In 2014, Abdullah lost the Srinagar seat to the then PDP leader Tariq Karra by a margin of 42,280 votes. It was Abdullah’s first electoral loss.

His son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, too, had a close shave in the 2014 Assembly elections, when he lost from the Sonawar segment and could only win the Beerwah Assembly constituency by a narrow margin of less than 1,000 votes.

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