PDP emerges biggest winner from North Kashmir, winning 7 of total 15 seats

KL Report

SRINAGAR

It was PDP that ended up sweeping maximum seats from North Kashmir—right from Pattan to Karnah. The party won seven seats (bettered its tally of five seats won in 2008) out of total fifteen (including Pattan, Sangrama, Rafiabad, Baramulla, Gulmarg, Lolab and Karnah). NC won three, two each by PC and Congress and one by Independent.

The son of prominent deceased Shia cleric, Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Imran Ansari was neck-to-neck against NC’s Aga Syed Mehmood Al Mosavi in Pattan for 2014 polls. However, when the EVMs were opened on Tuesday, the results showed an overwhelming voter support in favour of Imran. He secured 21218 votes against Mosavi’s figure of 11884 votes. Imran won by 9334 votes.

From Sangrama seat, the incumbent MLA Sangrama Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari registered his second consecutive win from Sangrama defeating his nearest rival Congress’s Shoiab Lone by 1754 votes.

Total 10 candidates were in fray from Sangrama, but the main contest was between Bukhari and Lone. An erstwhile broadcaster in Radio Kashmir, Bukhari had defeated Congress’s Lone by 1330 votes in 2008.

His opponent Lone got elected from his father’s constituency as an independent candidate in 2006. Since the PDP refused him a party ticket, both the NC and INC provided him “tacit support”.

While Congress’s Abdul Rasheed Dar won from restive Sopore defeating his closest rival PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Naikoo by 2755 votes, it was PDP’s Javid Hassan Beigh who won Baramulla seat against NC’s Gh. Hassan Rahi by a vote margin of 7017 votes.

PDP’s candidate got total 14418 votes, NC’s candidate got 7401 votes and Congress candidate got total 6805 votes.

Pertinently in the race was Salman Anees Soz, son of state congress president Prof Saif ud Din Soz.

The son of PDP General Secretary Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Yawar Ahmad Mir won Rafiabad defeating his closest rival Congress’s Abdul Gani Vakil by 2334 votes.PDP had fielded Yawar after his father’s conviction.

The outgoing NC legislator Javaid Dar who divorced PDP and ended up defeating Dilawar Mir in 2008 by 200 votes has scored ‘poorly’ as an MLA during his six years stint. An MoS in Omar’s cabinet, Dar, a management post-graduate had promised hope against Mir’s three decadal ‘redundant’ rule. However serious anti-incumbency factor might mar Dar’s another legislative stint.

A law graduate from ILS Pune and LLM from Nottingham University UK, Yawar is a debutant who polled 17918 against Vakil’s 15584 votes. NC’s Dar stood third by polling 14980 votes.

PC’s Bashir Ahmad Dar won Kupwara defeating his nearest rival PDP’s Mir Mohammad Fayaz by 151 seats. Dar polled 24754 votes against Fayaz’s 24603 votes.

The outgoing state law minister Mir Saifullah failed to retain the seat for the fourth time. In last polls, Mir had defeated his closest rival PDP’s Fayaz Ahmad Mir by 5182 poll margin. Other than 1967 when Congress’s

Mohammad Sultan Tantray won Kupwara, the segment has remained NC bastion winning 9 out of last 10 assembly segments.

In nearby Lolab, PDP’s incumbent MLA Abdul Haq Khan registered his second consecutive win from the seat defeating his closest rival NC’s Qaiser Jamsheed Lone by 2870 votes.

Khan had won 2008 polls defeating Lone with a victory margin of 5347 votes. A law graduate Khan took to politics in 1983 when he joined Peoples Conference.

In 2002, he contested elections as independent and a year later, he joined PDP. Other than Congress in 1967 and PDP in 2008, Lolab has remained hotbed for NC. But in 2014 polls, Khan seems in tight spot against Lone.

From Handwara, the son of slain Hurriyat leader (Abdul Gani Lone), Sajjad Lone registered his maiden win defeating his nearest rival NC’s Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan by 5423 votes.

Against Ramzan’s 23932, Lone polled 29355 votes. Total 12 candidates were in the fray from Handwara, but the contest was mainly between Lone and Ramzan.

Before National Conference’s Chowdhary Ramazan won Handwara constituency in 1983, it was slain Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone who won the seat thrice: in 1967 and 1972 on Congress ticket, and in 1977 on Janta Party ticket.

Lately after Narendra Modi and Sajjad Lone met this fall, Handwara constituency created a great political interest.

A brief fact-finding reveals that except losing the seat to Independent Sofi Ghulam Mohiuddin in 2002, Ramzan had maintained his firm grip over seat since 1983 until 2014. A law graduate Ramzan won last election defeating his nearest rival Sofi by a victory margin of 11,590 votes out of total 57678 votes polled. Ramzan polled 27907 against Sofi’s 16317 votes; while PDP’s Ghulam Ahmad Mir polled only 3417 votes.

In Lone’s neighbourhood, the incumbent MLA Langate Er Rasheed won Langate for second consecutive time. He defeated his nearest rival PDP’s Ghulam Nabi Ganai by 2505 votes.

Total 11 candidates were in the fray from the segment won by Rasheed 810 votes in 2008.

In 2008, Er Rasheed stunned political observers by defeating senior NC and PDP leaders Sharif Din Shariq and Muhammad Sultan Panditpuri by 210 votes. Rasheed became the only independent candidate in 2008 who ever won Langate seat—otherwise NC bastion: winning 6 out of last 10 elections.

The seasoned NC leader from Uri, Mohammad Shafi Uri won Uri for the sixth time defeating his closest rival PDP’s Raja Aijaz Khan by 5792 votes.

Since 1957, this northern fringe seat has been NC bastion winning 6 out of last 10 elections. Shafi Uri had previously won the seat for five consecutive terms from 1972 to 1996. But Taj defeated Shafi in the last two elections. Taj defeated Shafi in 2008 with 1,879 votes. (Taj polled 24036 against Uri’s 22157 votes; while as PDP’s Shabir Ahmad Mangral stood third with 1550 votes.)

The ‘controversial’ Ghulam Hassan Mir, enjoying ministerial berths from last 30 years lost Gulmarg to PDP’s Muhammad Abbas Wani by 2937 votes.

Mir was the only known face of his Democratic Party (Nationalist) seeking another term from Gulmarg. A three-time MLA Gulmarg, Mir is known to stay close to power centres. His image, however, suffered a dent after reports from New Delhi accused him of conspiring to topple Omar government with the “support” of army in 2010.

Accused of favouritism people believe that only those close to Mir were benefited in Gulmarg. Slamming Mir’s selective approach, a contractor-turned-politician, Abbas Wani highlighted “Mir’s failures” to woo the voters.

NC’s incumbent lawmaker from Sonawari Mohammad Akbar Lone won Sonawari defeating PDP’s Yasir Reshi by 406 votes.

The once Ikhwan-bastion, Sonawari, polled in the first phase where NC’s outgoing education minister Akbar Lone was pitted against PDP’s businessman-turned-politician Yasir Reshi and Congress’s Imtiyaz Parray.

In last elections when Sonawari voted, Lone defeated his close rival Abid Ansari by a huge margin of 12217 votes.

While Lone polled 20168; Abid ended up with 7951 votes. Brother of late PDP leader Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Abid then contested as an independent candidate.

After Abid secured PDP’s Zadibal ticket for the upcoming polls, the decks were cleared for home-grown Reshi to stand against Lone and Parray which had made the contest trilateral from Sonawari.

Congressman Usman Majid won Bandipora defeating his nearest rival PDP’s Nizam Ud Din Bhat by 3784 votes.
Last time when Bandipora went to polls, Bhat emerged victorious defeating Majid by a margin of 820 votes.

In 2002 elections, people had voted Majid to assembly on the ticket of Kuka Parray’s Awami League. (Parray was former renegade-turned-politician who engineered a mass surrender of militants and eventually helped the Indian Army to nab militancy.)

Majid eventually rose up to become state minister in 2002 PDP-Congress coalition. But after Parray was killed by militants in 2003, Majid became Parray’s last ‘flag-bearer’.

NC’s Nazir Ahmad Khan Gurezi won the Gurez seat for the third time defeating his nearest rival Congress’s Faqir Mohammad Khan by 141 votes.

Nazir Gurezi was pitted against PDP’s Mohammad Ismail Lone, Congress’s Faqir Mohammad Khan and Independent Ghulam Rasool Bhat.

In 2008 election, Faqir tasted defeat at the hands of Gurezi by a margin of 732 votes. In 2014, against Faqir’s 6523 votes, Gurezi polled 6664 votes.

From Karnah, PDP’s Raja Manzoor Ahmad ended the winning streak of NC’s Kifil Ur Rehman by 5775 votes.

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