National Conference ardent supporters were seen weeping and wailing in Charar-e-Sharif after the news about the defeat of their candidate made rounds in the air.
Badipora, the native village of Rahim Rather presented a dismal picture. The visibly shaken villagers did not talk and were in deep thoughts. “The loss is a setback for us,” they said.
The hegemony of outgoing Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather ended on Tuesday after he was defeated by People’s Democratic Party candidate Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjoora over 5000 votes.
“After 1972, Rather had never tasted defeat. People always supported him but I fail to understand what happened today,” said a shopkeeper who closed down his shop after hearing the ‘sad’ news.
A female supporter was seen weeping in a public vehicle. “I always voted for him and it is hard for me to digest the truth, that Rather Sahab has lost,” she told CNS.
The faces of the supporters of National Conference candidate were murky and gloomy while at counting centre at Budgam, they waited for long in a hope that some miracle will happen. “You just see, how Rather Sahab will take lead in coming rounds,” said an elderly person when the announcer declared that PDP candidate is leading towards victory.
However, some supporters of Abdul Rahim Rather told CNS that they were never confident of his victory. “We are his supporters but all are not. There is dissent and people are dissatisfied with them. He was never accessible to people and he never visited the constituency. He camped only in Srinagar and Jammu and people this time wanted to replace him by a better candidate,” said a student.
Pertinently, Rather started his political career with late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah getting elected to the J&K constituent assembly first in 1977 and later back to back in 1983, 1987, 1996, 2002, and 2008. (CNS)