24 candidates contesting from Sopore

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Srinagar, Nov 27 (UNI) The highest number of 24 candidates are seeking mandate from Sopore Assembly constituency, stronghold of chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat Conference (HC) Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who represented this seat in 1972, 1977 and last time in 1987.

An official spokesman said as many as 256 candidates are contesting from 18 constituencies spread over Baramulla and Budgam district in Kashmir Valley and Udhampur and Reasi districts in Jammu region, which are going to polls in the fourth of seven-phase Elections on December 7.

As many as 10 women contestants are also in the electoral ring in this phase of elections.

He said among these constituencies, Sopore constituency in Baramulla district has the distinction of having the highest number of 24 candidates in the electoral fray.

Mr Geelani has represented the constituency in 1972 on Jamat-e- Islami ticket. However, the constituency witnessed keen contest in 1977, when Mr Geelani fight it out against the National Conference (NC) nominee Hakeem Habibullah by a small margin of less than 50 votes.

Mr Hakeem took a sweet revenge when he defeated Mr Geelani in 1983. However, Mr Geelani again retained the seat in 1987 as an independent (Muslim United Front) candidate, defeated Abdul Ahad Vakil of NC by a margin of 5000 votes.

As many as 105 candidates will contest from Baramulla district which include 13 from Uri, 9 from Rafiabad, 24 Sopore, 19 from Sangrama, 12 from Baramulla, 15 from Gulmarg and 13 from Pattan assembly segments.

The total electorate in the Baramulla district are 5,18,963.

In Budgam district, 71 contestants are in fray, which include 18 from Chadoora, 16 from Budgam, 17 from Beerwah, 11 from Khansahib and 9 from Charar-i-Sharief constituencies.

The total electors in Budgam district are 3,83,987.

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