Wahid Bhat | SRINAGAR
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference wins all three Lok Sabha seats in the Kashmir valley BJP won two seats in Jammu and one in Ladakh. National Conference president Farooq Abdullah won the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat for a fourth time. National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, expressed hope that the new government at the Centre would do justice with the state and engage in a dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
While Speaking to media at the NC headquarters, Farooq Abdullah thanked party leaders, workers and the people of his constituency for their support.Abdullah said “I thank NC vice-president Omar (Abdullah), our party leaders and the people of Kashmir, especially the people of Srinagar constituency – all the mothers, sisters, elders and youth for supporting the NC”.
“This Parliament will not be easy. There are several important issues with respect to J-K because we have to fight them on their intention to do away with the Article 370 and 35A. Another issue is that they want to divide the Muslims and Hindus in the country; we have to fight that as well,” the NC chief said.
While another NC candidate Hasnian Masoodi registered victory in Anantnag constituency, his party colleague Akbar Lone won from Baramulla. Masoodi defeated Congress state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir with a margin of over 8000 votes while Lone’s nearest rival Raja Ejaz Ali from the People’s Conference lost the battle in Baramulla by 20000 votes.
Masoodi, a retired high court judge, was leading Mir by 7,600 votes with 18,000 votes to be counted, election officials said.
Mehbooba, who had won the Anantnag seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, was at the third spot, 11,700 votes behind Masoodi.
This is only the second electoral defeat for Mehbooba since she joined politics in 1996. She had lost the 1999 Lok Sabha polls from Srinagar to the NC’s Omar Abdullah.
While the BJP’s resounding victory at the national level has cast a shadow over the NC’s victory in Kashmir, the scene outside BJP state headquarters in Jammu was ecstatic. “It is a vote for the development. Also, the surgical strike showed the country a resolve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Sat Sharma, former BJP president, said. Party workers were seen distributing sweets and bursting crackers.
As former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti trailed behind National Conference and Congress from the Anantnag seat, she congratulated BJP.
Mehbooba Mufti also observed that Congress should now get someone like BJP president Amit Shah. Praising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for achieving a clean sweep across the country, Mufti said, “Congratulations to Narendra Modi ji for a historic mandate. Today surely belongs to BJP and it’s allies. Time for Congress to get an Amit Shah.”
At 2:30 pm, according to the EC data, NDA was leading in 349 seats while UPA was leading in 92 seats.
Mehbooba Mufti tweet Congratulations to Narendra Modi ji for a historic mandate. Today surely belongs to BJP and it’s allies. Time for Congress to get an Amit Shah.
Speaking of her imminent defeat in Anantnag, Mehbooba Mufti said, “I’ve been fortunate to get the love & affection of my people. They have every right to express their anger for my failings. Accept their verdict with humility. Congratulations to winning candidates from NC. I’m grateful to my party workers & colleagues.”
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, too, lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for a successful campaign.
Omar Abdullah said credit should be given where it’s due and congratulated the Modi-Shah duo for a “stellar campaign”.
Abdullah wrote: “So the exit polls were correct. All that’s left is to congratulate the BJP & NDA for a stellar performance. Credit where credit is due PM Modi Sahib & Mr Amit Shah put together a winning alliance & a very professional campaign. Bring on the next five years.”
As per the latest Election Commission data, the National Conference is leading on three Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir and the BJP has opened huge leads in two constituencies while leading by a slender margin in Ladakh.
MP Jugal Kishore Sharma reacts
MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is leading from the Jammu parliamentary seat, said people voted for the “courageous and bold steps” taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It is vote for the courageous and bold steps taken Prime Minister Narendra Modi during last five year of his rule,” Sharma told reporters outside the counting centre here.
He expressed confidence that this “sweeping trend in favour of the BJP will turn soon into results”.
Asked whether it was Balakote or development that is credited to the BJP trends, he said that everything that is taken in the interest of the country including security, development and peace and progress goes to the credit of government.
“Modi ji took strong steps for the security of the country and also for development. It is a mix of all of these initiatives”, he said.
He said the BJP had performed well in Kashmir too in the last local body polls and “our efforts are on to do better in these polls as well”.
Asked if his party would scrap Article 370 and 35-A if voted back to power, he said it is already in the BJP’s poll manifesto.
“We will do everything which is in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir. Nothing has been given by these Acts”, he said. The BJP wants assembly elections as soon as possible, he said.