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news details
Even neighbours reject PDP chief
4/23/2019 11:33:42 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Apr 23: South Kashmir is no more considered bastion for the Peoples Democratic Party. This was seen on Tuesday when voters of Bijbehara virtually rejected Mehbooba Mufti and did not come out to vote.
Spanning over four districts-Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, and Shopian- with 16 assembly segments, the first part of polls in restive south Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency went to the elections on Tuesday. The Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency will go to polls in three parts. Part 1 was held on Tuesday.
Unlike the previous elections, Mehbooba Mufti seems to be on a sticky wicket.
Mehbooba made her maiden entry in the Parliament in 2004, by defeating her rival National Conference candidate, Mehboob Beg from Anantnag constituency.
On Tuesday, she failed to convince neighbours from her village in Bijbehara to cast the vote. "She has lost ground in south Kashmir. Even her neighbours did not cast their votes," Bashir Ahmad, a local of Bijbehara said.
He said south Kashmir is no more a bastion for the PDP. "It is because of Mehbooba's wrong policies that even her workers and neighbours are not willing to cast their vote for her," Meema, a local lady of Bijbehara said. "She is only visiting us during elections. Why would we vote for her," Meena added.
A PDP leader said that people of south Kashmir are also unhappy with Mehbooba Mufti. "You can't show ignorance to people who made you chief minister," the PDP leader said. "The PDP has no more remained a most liked party. Mehbooba Mufti and her close aides are responsible for showing arrogance to people."
In the last parliamentary elections, it was Mehbooba Mufti, who won the south Kashmir Lok Sabha seat. She defeated the then NC candidate Mehboob Beg, who later joined the PDP, by 65,417 votes. The seat fell vacant in June 2016 after Mehbooba resigned, when she won the assembly by-polls. Since then by-polls could not be held due to volatile situation in south Kashmir.
Former High Court Judge Hasnain Masoodi is National Conference candidate for south Kashmir Lok Sabha seat, while Congress state chief G A Mir is its candidate.
Unlike 2014 when south Kashmir was considered bastion of the PDP, the Congress and National Conference too have gained ground over the years and several PDP leaders have left the party.
Going to the past, no political party has retained the seat since 1989.
In 1989 parliamentary polls, PL Handoo of the National Conference candidate emerged winner from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat.
Although, the parliamentary polls were again held in 1991 across India but could not take place in Kashmir due to volatile situation in the valley. This had prompted the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to defer elections for these seats.
In 1996 polls, the Janta Dal candidate Muhammad Maqbool Dar emerged winner from this Lok Sabha constituency. Mufti Muhammad Sayeed won the south Kashmir Parliamentary seat in 1998 on the Congress ticket and the polls recorded around 28 percent voter turnout.
In 1999, the Lok Sabha seat of south Kashmir was won by the National Conference candidate Ali Muhammad Naik. The elections were conducted in backdrop of then National Conference leader Saifuddin Soz, who voted in defiance of the party whip against the BJP-led coalition government during the confidence motion in Lok Sabha. He later joined the Congress party.
While in 2009, the National Conference candidate Mehboob Beg was declared as the winner. He defeated PDP candidate Peer Mohammad Hussain with a mere margin of 5,200 votes. Hussain recently joined the National Conference. Mehbooba won the Lok Sabha seat in 2014 by 65417 votes. She defeated the then NC candidate Mehboob Beg, who later joined the PDP. The seat fell vacant in June 2016 after Mehbooba resigned, when she won the assembly by-polls.
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