Srinagar, April 15 (IANS) National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Saturday won the by-poll to the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat, that was marred by large-scale violence and very poor turnout on balloting day. The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister urged the central government to impose Governor’s rule in the state, terming the election as the “bloodiest ever”.
Abdullah defeated the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s Nazir Ahmad Khan by 10,776 votes.
Of the 89,865 votes cast, Farooq polled 48,555 while Khan polled 37,779. A total of 963 people voted for NOTA (none of the above), election officials said.
The NC said it would not celebrate the victory because of the violence on polling day on April 9 in which eight civilians died in firing by security forces.
Addressing reporters after his win, Abdullah urged the BJP-led central government to dismiss the ruling BJP-PDP alliance.
“I request the Government of India and the President to dismiss the present government right away. Governor’s rule should be imposed and elections conducted under Governor’s rule,” Farooq told the media.
Thanking the people who supported him, he said: “This was the bloodiest election ever. I am not happy with the win. But results show that people are in favour of NC.”
In a statement issued by the party, spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said, “We won’t celebrate the victory in the by-poll in view of the deaths that occurred on balloting day.”
Voting for the parliamentary seat saw a record low turnout of 7 per cent on April 9. Re-polling was held on April 13 for 38 polling stations in Budgam district, that saw a mere 2 per cent balloting.
There were nine candidates in the fray, but the main battle was between PDP’s Khan and Abdullah.
Abdullah, 79, a two-time Chief Minister, will be Lok Sabha member for the third time. He had lost the Srinagar constituency to PDP’s Tariq Hameed Karra in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Karra’s resignation from the party led to the seat getting vacant.