Former J&K CMs Omar, Mehbooba concede defeat in Baramulla, Anantnag-Rajouri seats - Hindustan Times
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Former J&K CMs Omar, Mehbooba concede defeat in Baramulla, Anantnag-Rajouri seats

ByMir Ehsan
Jun 04, 2024 02:22 PM IST

Omar Abdullah congratulates Independent candidate Engineer Rashid, a former MLA who is lodged in Tihar Jail in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case, while Mehbooba says winning and losing is part of the game as NC’s Mian Altaf nears victory.

National Conference vice-president and J&K former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday conceded defeat to Independent nominee Abdul Rashid Sheikh, alias Engineer Rashid, even as counting was on for the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday afternoon.

Former J&K chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah with the party flag while campaigning in the Baramulla Lok Sabha elections that went to the polls on May 20. (HT file photo)
Former J&K chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah with the party flag while campaigning in the Baramulla Lok Sabha elections that went to the polls on May 20. (HT file photo)

Rashid, a former MLA from Langate, is lodged in Tihar Jail in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case. His campaign was run by his son, Abrar Rashid, a university student.

Accepting defeat after he was trailing by 1.34 lakh votes, Omar Abdullah shared on X: “I think it’s time to accept the inevitable. Congratulations to Engineer Rashid on his victory in North Kashmir. I don’t believe his victory will hasten his release from prison nor will the people of North Kashmir get the representation they have a right to but the voters have spoken and in a democracy that’s all that matters.”

Exit polls had predicted Omar Abdullah’s win. Since the counting began at Baramulla Degree College in the morning, Rashid maintained a steady lead that he consolidated with each round of counting.

Of the six seats of J&K and Ladakh, the National Conference is leading in two constituencies, the BJP in two and Independents in two seats.

Rashid polled 2,91,610 votes, leading by 1,34,705 votes to Omar Abdullah, who got 1,56,905 votes. People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone is at the third spot with 98,603 votes.

People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti is trailing in Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency by 2,22,831 votes to NC candidate Mian Altaf, who has got 4,32,590 votes so far.

Conceding defeat, Mehbooba posted on X: “Respecting the verdict of the people, I thank PDP workers and leaders for their hard work and support despite all the odds. My deepest gratitude to the people who voted for me. Winning and losing is part of the game and won’t deter us from our path. Congratulations to Mian sahab on his victory.”

While the NC’s Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi is leading over his PDP rival Waheed Para in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, the BJP’s incumbent MPs Jugal Kishore Sharma and Jitendra Singh are leading from Jammu and Udhampur, respectively.

In Ladakh, Independent candidate Haneefa Jan is leading by 27,997 votes over the Congress candidate. The BJP that had won the seat in 2019 is at the third spot.

This is the first Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. The elections to the five seats in Jammu and Kashmir were held in five phases.

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