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Omar, Mehbooba, Lone bite dust in first major polls after the abrogation of Article 370

Omar, Mehbooba, Lone bite dust in first major polls after the abrogation of Article 370


, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (21:49 IST)
Srinagar:The first major polls after the abrogation of Article 370 produced massive upsets with two former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti biting the dust.

Out of the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir, while National Conference won two seats- Srinagar and Anantnag-Rajouri- the jailed Awami Ittehad Party leader and Independent candidate Abdul Rashid Sheikh aka Engineer Rashid- produced a massive upset by winning the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

Rashid, who is currently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail in a terror-funding case, proved a giant killer after he defeated Omar and separatist turned mainstream politician Sajad Lone from Baramulla Lok Sabha seat- which was most watched constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

Engineer Rashid defeated his nearest rival Omar with a margin of over 2.41 lakh votes.
According to Election Commission of India figures, Rashid bagged 4,72,481 votes while Omar came second with 2,68,339. Sajad Lone of the People Conference was in the third position with 1,73,239 votes.

Omar conceded his defeat even before the final result was announced.“… 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,” Omar posted on X.

Later talking to reporters, the former Chief Minister said the contest was difficult because of Engineer Rashid.“Young and women voted for his release in large numbers. …. Winning or losing is the part of the election,” he said.

Lone also congratulated Engineer Rashid.“I wanted to make a difference. I thought we should be empowered economically , socially and politically to be able to make a difference and be counted. We had suffered a lot in the past 30 yrs and been robbed of all our dignity. The people’s mandate is supreme. I accept the people mandate with all humility,” ,” Lone posted on X.

The other major upset in J&K was the defeat of former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti from Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency. She lost to Mian Altaf of the NC by a massive margin of over 2.81 lakh votes.The influential Gujjar leader Mian Altaf polled 5,21,836 votes, while Mehbooba Mufti polled 2,40,042 votes.

“Respecting the verdict of the people I thank my PDP workers & leaders for their hard work & support despite all the odds. My deepest gratitude to the people who voted for me. Winning & losing is part of the game & wont deter us from our path. Congratulations to Mian sahab for his victory,” she posted on X.

In this newly carved seat, the J&K Apni Party, which is believed to have backing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has made some gains, coming in at third position with over 1,42,195 votes.

In Srinagar, NC leader and prominent Shia leader Aga Ruhullah, defeated his nearest rival PDP’s Waheed Parra by a margin of 1,88,416.Ruhullah bagged 3,56,866 votes , while his rival Parra secured 1,68,450 votes. Apni Party's Mohammad Ashraf Mir was at distant third slot securing over 65,954 votes.(UNI)

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