Big blow to ruling PDP
Srinagar, April 15
Newly elected member of parliament from Srinagar parliamentary constituency Farooq Abdullah has called for the immediate dismissal of the BJP-PDP government in the state and imposition of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The people have lost faith in the present dispensation of PDP-BJP and his victory was a testimony to that,” Farooq said while addressing party workers at the National Conference headquarters at Nawai-subh.
National Conference president said that since the people of Jammu and Kashmir have lost faith in the government, it is important and imperative that Anantnag by-election scheduled for May 25 be held under Governor’s rule. ” The violence in Budgam on April 9 by poll showed that the government has failed to hold the elections to the satisfaction of the people.”
Farooq Abullah promised that as a member of Lok Sabha, he would work for dialogue between the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and also with Pakistan by New Delhi. That alone is the way out of Kashmir crisis. Meanwhile Farooq Abdullah has won closely-watched bypoll to Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency, defeating his nearest rival Nazir Ahmad Khan of ruling PDP by a margin of around 10,000 votes.
Voting for the parliamentary seat on April 9 was marred by violence and a record low 7.01 per cent voter turnout. When the re-poll took place at 38 violence hit polling stations in Budgam, only 2 per cent voters turned up, the lowest in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.
The main opposition in the state NC, backed by Congress, wrested the seat from ruling PDP, which had won Srinagar Lok Sabah constituency by a margin of 42,280 votes in 2014. Abdullah, 79, had in 2014 lost to PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra. However, the seat fell vacant after Karra resigned from Parliament and his party membership in protest against PDP forming a coalition government with BJP in 2016. He later joined Congress. This will be the third terms as Lok Sabha member for Abdullah, whose victory is seen as a major setback for PDP. Out of 12,61,395 electorate, only 90,050 voters exercised their franchise in violence marred bypolls on April 9 in the constituency, where about 24 polling booths set up in educational institutions were set on fire by miscreants. Eight youth were killed and over 50 others were injured in security force firing on anti-election protestors during the bypolls to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. Meanwhile, over 100 police personnel were also injured the clashes.
Dr Abdullah and ruling Khan were among nine candidates seeking mandate from the constituency though there was a direct contest between NC and PDP.
The other candidates are Bikram Singh of Liberal Democratic Party, Chetan Sharma of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, Sajad Reshi of Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (S), and independent candidates Sajjad Hussain Beigh, Ghulam Hassan Dar, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Mehraj Khurshid Malik.
Among the 15 assembly segments in the constituency, spread over three districts of Badgam, Srinagar and Ganderbal, seven are represented by PDP, seven by NC and one PDF.
The constituency remained a stronghold of NC since 1975 when the party (NC) started participating in the democratic process following the Indira-Sheikh accord.
However, in 1996, the seat was won by Congress candidate Ghulam Mohammad Mir when NC did not field any candidate as majority NC leaders, including Dr Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were living outside the valley due to militancy.
Before 1967, members to Lok Sabha were being nominated from Jammu and Kashmir.
Former prime minister of the state Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was the first to represent the Srinagar constituency in 1967.
However, in 1971 Shamim Ahmad Shamim, an independent candidate supported by ‘Mahaz Raishumari Front’, headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, won from the constituency.
Later after the Indira-Sheikh accord in 1975, Begum Akbar Jehan, mother of Dr Abdullah represented the seat in 1977 as NC nominee.
Abdul Rashid Kabli of NC represented the seat in 1984 and Mohammad Shafi Bhat (NC) in 1989. Congress candidate Ghlam Mohammad Mir won in 1996. Meanwhile, Omar Abdullah represented the constituency in 1998, 1999 and 2004.
In 2009, Dr Abdullah won from the constituency as NC nominee and become minister in the UPA government.
However, Dr Abdullah lost to Karra of PDP in 2014 by a margin of about 50,000 votes.
Karra, who was opposed to alliance with BJP, finally resigned from PDP and Lok Sabha to join Congress with the result the seat became vacant.