National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah today won the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll, defeating the ruling PDP candidate, Nazir Khan, by a margin of over 10,700 votes.
Abdullah polled around 48,554 votes against Khan, who got 37,779 votes, officials said.
The polling for the seat was held on April 9 amid large- scale violence that left eight persons dead and several dozen others injured.
The constituency had recorded an abysmal 7.13 per cent voter turnout, the lowest ever in its history.
The Election Commission had ordered repolling in 38 polling stations in violence-hit areas on April 13.
This will be the third term as Lok Sabha member for Abdullah, whose victory is being seen as a major setback for the ruling PDP. He was earlier elected to the House of People in 1980 and 2009.
Although there were seven other candidates in the fray, it was NOTA that bagged the second runner-up spot with over 930 voters choosing this option.
National Conference workers did not celebrate the win of their party president as mark of respect to the eight youths killed in firing by security forces on April 9.
The bypoll to the seat was necessitated after the then PDP leader Tariq Hamid Karra resigned from the Lower House of Parliament in protest against the “atrocities” inflicted upon the people during the unrest triggered by killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani last year.
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has also demanded that Governor’s rule to be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir as the state government had failed to ensure a peaceful election.
“I appeal to the Governor and the President of India to dismiss this government and impose Governor’s rule in the state where the people will get some respite and feel that such situation will not arise again,” Abdullah said speaking to reporters after his poll victory.
Abdullah, whose victory is being seen as a setback to the ruling PDP demanded that the bypolls to the Anantnag Parliamentary seat, which have been deferred till May 25, should be held under Governor’s rule.
I will also say that the election in Anantnag should happen under the Governor’s Rule, he said. Otherwise it is unlikely that the people would get justice, he said.
Claiming the the eight youth who had died in the poll day violence were “martyred”, the National Conference chief said that several others were in hospitals or jails and he had never seen such an election.
He expressed gratitude towards the people who risked their lives to vote in “such a difficult situation.
The polling for the Sri Nagar Lok Sabha seat had seen an abysmal turnout of 7.13 per cent, the lowest ever in its history while eight persons lost their lives.
The NC leader trashed the rumours that he would resign from Lok Sabha after today’s win and said that he would follow what his party high command decides.
Reacting to the video of a youth tied up to an army vehicle, Abdullah said it is very shameful and a very bad act against democracy.
I request them not to do such things which will add to the fire and render it uncontrollable, Abdullah said.
He batted for resumption of Indo-Pak talks and dialogue with all stakeholders including separatist Hurriyat Conference.
War is not a solution to anything, he said.
Asked about the dismal poll percentage in the bypolls, Abdullah replied by saying “How does it matter? We have seen polls before also where hardly any percentage was there. It does not make any difference. Democracy has been there.”
“What do you say to the people who have voted, even if it may be seven per cent with all the pressures on them?”, he asked.