Rather's defeat ends record 36-year stint in J&K assembly

  • PTI, None, Srinagar
  • Updated: Dec 23, 2014 15:21 IST

Finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather's record run in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly ended on when he lost from Charar-e-Sharief while his National Conference colleague Ali Mohammad Sagar equalled his feat of sixth consecutive victories by winning Khanyar seat.

Rather, who represented Charar-e-Sharief constituency fora record 36 years in the Assembly, lost to PDP candidate and former Legislative Council chairman Ghulam Nabi Lone.

Rather, who last lost an election in 1972, was defeated by Lone by over 5,000 votes. Rather had won six consecutive assembly elections from Charar-e-Sharief constituency in central Kashmir Budgam district.

It was third time lucky for Lone who unsuccessfully contested against Rather in 2002 and in 2008. While Rather won by 3,755 votes in 2002, he emerged victorious by 6,375 votes in 2008.

Born at Badipora village of Chadoora, Rather (59) was first elected to the assembly from the constituency in 1977.

A law graduate, Rather was a practising lawyer from 1971 to 1982 and held important portfolios in the National Conference governments including the post of speaker.

He also served as finance minister several times besides holding agriculture, rural development, law and parliamentary affairs portfolios.

Earlier, the constituency was represented by National Conference leader Bakshi Abdul Rashid in 1957 and 1962 and Congress leader Abdul Quyoom in 1967 and 1972.

National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar won the Khanyar assembly seat by over 1200 votes, staving off stiff competition from PDP candidate and former trade union leader Khurshid Alam.

This is Sagar's sixth consecutive win in the assembly polls, equalling the record held by Rather.

A postgraduate, 61-year-old Sagar joined National Conference in early 1980s and was appointed as Youth general secretary of the party in 1983.

He was first elected to the assembly in 1983 and retained the seat in 1987. He won the successive assembly polls from 1996, 2002 and 2008.

In 1989, Sagar was minister of Information and also became minister of State for Home in 1996 and later works minister till 2002.

He was Rural development minister in the Omar Abdullah led government.

Khanyar had traditionally remained a strong bastion of National Conference as it had won the seat eight times since 1957. However, the seat was won by Congress twice in 1967 and 1972.

Meanwhile, former speaker Mubarak Gul won the Eidgah constituency of Srinagar for the fifth time, defeating his nearest PDP rival by a margin of over 600 votes.

Born in 1951, Gul remained a councillor in 1976 and was also the president of rural development society, Jammu and Kashmir youth federation and Youth National Conference.

After a stint as provincial president of NC, Gul was elected to assembly in 1983 and again won the seat in 1996, 2002 and 2008.

In 1987 elections, Gul was not given the party ticket but was elected as member of the upper house.

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