Omar loses to Independent in Jammu & Kashmir; BJP victorious in two seats | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Omar loses to Independent in Jammu & Kashmir; BJP victorious in two seats

ByMir Ehsan, Ashiq Hussain, Srinagar
Jun 05, 2024 08:50 AM IST

Two former Jammu & Kashmir chief ministers lost their seats with huge margins as the counting of votes concluded on Tuesday

Two former Jammu & Kashmir chief ministers lost their seats with huge margins as the counting of votes concluded on Tuesday.

BJP supporters celebrate the party's lead during counting of votes for Lok Sabha elections in Srinagar on Tuesday. (PTI)
BJP supporters celebrate the party's lead during counting of votes for Lok Sabha elections in Srinagar on Tuesday. (PTI)

In Baramulla, jailed former legislator Abdul Rashid Sheikh, an independent candidate, defeated former CM and national conference candidate Omar Abdullah by over 200,000 votes. However, the exit polls had predicted a victory for Abdullah.

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

In a post on X, Abdullah accepted his defeat and said: “I think it’s time to accept the inevitable. Congratulations to Engineer Rashid on his victory in North Kashmir.”

While another former CM and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti failed to retain Anantnag-Rajouri constituency and lost by 281,794 votes to NC candidate Mian Altaf Ahmad, who polled 521,836 votes.

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.”

In Srinagar, considered to be a bastion of NC where its founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah would draw huge crowds, party candidate Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi defeated PDP’s Waheed Ur Rehman Para by over 188,000 votes. Since 1987, the NC has represented Srinagar 10 times except in 2014 and 1996 when PDP and Congress had wrestled the seat respectively. In the 2019 general polls, NC president Farooq Abdullah won from Srinagar, that witnessed a dismal polling figure of 14.4%.

“A big thank you to the people of Srinagar, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Shopian and Budgam for this mandate and showing faith in me. I am humbled and I am aware of the responsibility that this mandate brings with it. You have spoken democratically and spoken against the decisions of Aug 5, 2019,” said Agha Ruhullah Mehdi on his election win.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) repeated its performance of 2019 as incumbent MPs Jugal Kishore Sharma and Jitendra Singh won from Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary seats, respectively.

However compared to last elections, Congress managed to reduce the winning margin of BJP on both seats.

Union minister Jitendra Singh bagged 571,076 votes while his rival Congress candidate Choudhary Lal Singh got 446,703 defeating Singh by 124,373 votes.

BJP’s two-time MP Jugal Kishore secured his third win from Jammu defeating Congress candidate Raman Bhalla by a margin of 135,498 votes.

This is the first parliamentary election in Union territory after the abrogation of Article 370. The elections to the five seats in the state were held in five phases.

The only seat of Ladakh was won by former NC leader Mohmad Hanefa who contested as an independent candidate by defeating Congress and BJP candidates.

In a post on X, political analyst Sheikh Showkat said, “Voters of JK & Ladakh have overwhelmingly rejected stance of BJP + proxies & penalised Omar Abdullah & Mehbooba for their collaboration.”

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