The biggest upset in the Lok Sabha elections this year was National Conference (NC) party patron Farooq Abdullah’s loss to a comparatively political lightweight — PDP’s Tariq Hameed Karra.
A few months on, the NC is trying hard to retain its bastion in the ongoing assembly elections. In the absence of charismatic senior Abdullah, party’s working president and chief minister Omar Abdullah is rallying hard in Srinagar.
The party office bearers are hopeful of a good show as well. “In 2008 we were fighting elections in a coalition. The anti-vote got consolidated and also Congress did cross voting. This time we are hopeful that people will vote for our party as they have always done in the past,’’ said NC Kashmir chief, Nasir Aslam Wani.
Srinagar has traditionally been an NC bastion. All eight constituencies in Srinagar were won by the NC in 2008 assembly elections.
However, PDP has an edge in most assembly segments in the state’s summer capital.
The voter mood in the polls also seems to have changed little in the current election. Srinagar had recorded just 20% voting in the 2008 assembly elections. The figure was 27% in LS polls.
The separatists’ boycott call has been most effective in Srinagar than other parts of the Valley.
However, analysts are hopeful of good voting on Sunday. “Anti BJP sentiment might force people to vote in area where BJP is hopeful of a win,’’ said Aijaz Ahmad, a Srinagar local.