HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

PDP emerges stronger after polls in Jammu Kashmir

Peerzada Ashiq  Srinagar, May 17, 2014
First Published: 15:05 IST(17/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:15 IST(17/5/2014)

With all three parliamentary seats from Kashmir Valley in its kitty, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has a psychological edge over its opponents, six months before the assembly polls in the state.

The PDP scored in two uncharted territories of Srinagar, which has eight assembly segments, and Jammu’s Poonch and Rajouri assembly segments.

National Conference (NC) stalwart Farooq Abdullah lost an election for the first time in his political career. He was defeated by a PDP candidate in Srinagar by a margin 42,000 votes.  In Hazratbal assembly constituency, which is represented by Abdullah’s brother, Mustafa Kamal, PDP took the lead. Even Sonawar assembly segment, considered a safe seat of the Abdullahs, saw a PDP surge.

In fact, NC put up a poor show in all assembly constituencies in Srinagar city, except for Habba Kadal segment.

On the other hand, PDP not only bridged its 2009 losing margin of 30,000 votes in Srinagar, it also bettered its vote share by around 70,000 votes.

Of the eight assembly segments in the city, the party led in at least six.

In Jammu region, the party got 168,554 votes and emerged number three. Given the significant vote share from this region, the PDP will hope to translate it into assembly seats from Rajouri and Poonch.

“We have emerged as a pan-regional party, with Jammu also voting for us,” said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

The PDP emerged victorious in Baramulla with a margin of around 30,000 votes. Its vote share in the assembly segments of Ganderbal, Kangan and central Kashmir’s Budgam district also soared.

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