Soon after defeating ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Nazir Khan by a margin of over 10,776 votes, veteran Kashmiri politician Farooq Abdullah appealed President Pranab Mukherjee to dismiss the state government as it has “failed to deliver and hold peaceful election.”
“I appeal to the President of India to dismiss this government and impose Governor's rule in the state. They have killed youth and put the lives of the people in danger,“ he told reporters at NC headquarters here after his poll victory.
Abdullah, a former Chief Minister and a Union Minister, also 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.
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.
Dispelling rumours of his resignation, he said that he was not going to resign. “I have neither said such a thing nor will I resign,” Abdullah said. Rumours were flying thick and fast in Kashmir on Thursday that Abdullah will resign if he wins the by-poll.
Earlier out of the total 89883 counted votes, Abdullah polled 48555 votes while Khan polled 37779 votes. The victory of octogenarian Abdullah is seen as a major boost for the NC, who used every card from separatism to a soft pro-Pakistan line ahead of elections.
There were nine candidates contesting the seat, but the direct contest was between Abdullah and Khan. Octogenarian Abdullah had lost 2014 parliament elections to the then PDP candidate Tariq Karra (now with Congress). He took plunge into the election to make a comeback and take “avenge” of the defeat.
On the other hand, Khan who had joined PDP after parting ways with the Congress was fighting his maiden Lok Sabha election. In the wake of unprecedented poll boycott and clashes during voting for the Srinagar segment, the Election Commission deferred by-election for Anantnag parliamentary segment—which was scheduled on April 12—till May 25.
Eight people were shot dead by paramilitary troopers and police and over 150 were injured in clashes between people and forces on polling day (9 April), which saw a mere 7.14% voter turnout. On Thursday, re-polling was held for 38 booths which recorded only 2.02% polling.