FORMER Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday won the election to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency by trouncing his nearest rival by over 70,000 votes, entering the lower house of Parliament for the fourth time. Abdullah polled 1,06,750 votes, while his nearest rival PDP candidate Aga Syed Mohsin polled 36,700 votes, an election official said. He said that the NC leader secured a total of 57.14 per cent of the total votes polled in the election to the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, which is spread over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal. Mohsin secured 19.64 per cent of the total votes polled, the official said. Abdullah defeated Mohsin by a margin 70,050 votes, he added.
Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference polled 28,773 votes (15.4 per cent), while BJP’s Khalid Jehangir was at the fourth position with 4,631 votes (2.48 per cent), he said. This is the fourth win in the Lok Sabha elections for the 83-year-old Abdullah -- the three time former Chief Minister -- who has so far lost an election only once in his 42-year political career since his debut in 1980. Abdullah was first elected as member of the Lok Sabha in 1980. However, he returned to State politics in the wake of failing health of his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1981. He succeeded as Chief Minister of the State in September 1982 following his father’s death. Abdullah won in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, but lost to PDP candidate Tariq Hamid Karra in the 2014 elections. However, he won the 2017 by-polls to Lok Sabha after Karra resigned from the PDP as well the Lok Sabha in 2016.
Mehbooba loses Anantnag seat
PDP President and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday lost the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat to National Conference’s Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi by nearly 10,000 votes. Masoodi, who was fighting his maiden electoral battle, polled 40,180 votes, while Mehbooba secured 30,524 votes, officials said. Congress’s State unit president Ghulam Ahmad Mir was the runner up with 33,504 votes, they said.