Tariq-Hamid-KarraOn May 16, PDP’s city face, Tariq Hamid Karra emerged as the ‘giant killer’ when he defeated NC’s Farooq Abdullah. A former finance minister, Karra created history on his very first Lok Sabha contest by defeating the former chief minister and incumbent MP, Farooq Abdullah.

Hailing from Batamaloo area of the city, Karra hails from powerful Karra family who started his political career in 2004 in bi-election when Batamaloo seat fell vacant after the demise of NC veteran Ghulam Mohi Ud Din Shah.

Karra is the only candidate whose assets crossed Rs 100 crore mark in the affidavit he filed with ECI. Political observers say, “When Sher-i-Kashmir was incarcerated, Karra family actually helped and nourished Farooq Abdullah and his siblings.”

On Friday when counting was going on at Srinagar’s SKICC, a visibly enthusiastic Karra made an entry and briefed the media, “Our win is inevitable.” He soon left the spot with a big smile on his face indicating PDP’s win over the NC bastion which they never lost.

It was not an easy day for his family which soon got their great moment of relief. On the eve of Srinagar Lok Sabha elections, daughter and sister of Karra were seen on toes. And then Friday was happy day, for them, indeed.

Karra is known for his idea of separate currency for Jammu and Kashmir when he was finance minister of state in Mufti led coalition post 2004. After he lost in 2008 assembly, his space in his party got shrunk which he was able to restore but after many hectic ground work.

The seat he won on May 16 is the same about which he once said, “Srinagar is the den of agencies and stakeholders, may it be in peace or disturbance. In 2002, 160 seats all from rural areas, city people could not cast their votes due to the existing circumstances. I was then the only MLA from Srinagar in the party but now I have many colleagues who are from Srinagar. Now we have improved a lot in terms of support in the city.”

As the formal announcement was made that Srinagar goes to PDP with a margin of 42181 votes, Karra, followed by scores of vehicles in which his supporters were boarding, went to pay obeisance at revered Hazratbal shrine. Significantly, PDP has won Hazratbal assembly segment which has been NC’s strong bastion till now.

In the evening, Karra straight away drove to Chrar-i-Sharief where, reports said slogans were being raised, “Moauji suen kay runth—-badaam goujay….Tariq saebun fouj hey aaw.”

-Riyaz ul Khaliq


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