In central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, National Conference’s Ishfaq Ahmad Sheikh, candidate for Ganderbal seat, is ahead of PDP’s Qazi Mohammad Afzal by 414 votes.
Ganderbal, an NC bastion, was deserted by chief minister Omar Abdullah after he decided to contest the election from Sonawar and Beerwah. The seat was geared up for a triangular contest after NC’s senior cadre member Mohammad Yusuf left the party and joined Congress. In 2002, NC’s Omar suffered a defeat from Ganderbal at the hands of PDP’s Qazi Mohammad Afzal. However, Omar retained the seat in 2008.
In frontier constituency of Kangan, early election trends showed PDP’s businessman-turned-politician Bashir Ahmad Mir ahead of NC’s Mian Altaf. But minutes later, Altaf took a lead of 2300 votes, which remains maintained till now.
Kangan has been dominated by Mians, who enjoy a wide support among Gujjars living in the constituency. The seat has been dominated by Mians throughout the electoral politics since 1957 except in 1983 when the seat was clinched by NC’s Sheikh Abdul Jabbar. Son of a prominent religious cum political leader and ex-MLA, Mian Bashir, Mian Altaf is undefeated from Kangan since 1987.