LS performance to boost PDP ahead of Assembly polls

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Srinagar, May 18: The victory of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in all the three Lok Sabha seats in the Kashmir valley will be a big boost to the party as it prepares for the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly elections due six months later.

The segment-wise details of votes polled for the Lok Sabha elections in the state, show that PDP stood first in 41 of the 87 Assembly seats.

A political party, or a combination of parties, needs 44 seats to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir. National Conference, which has 28 seats in the assembly now, managed to out-do the opposition candidates in just five of the 46 Assembly segments of the valley during this year's Lok Sabha elections.

The tally of Congress, which has 17 MLAs, has been whittled down to 10 seats. National Conference and Congress fought the Lok Sabha polls in a pre-poll alliance with the national party contesting the two seats of Jammu and Ladakh while the regional party fielding candidates from the three seats of the valley. Both the parties drew a blank.

BJP was on top in 27 assembly segments with major gains coming from Jammu Lok Sabha constituency where it came number one in 16 of the 20 seats.

PDP, the main Opposition party in the state with 21 assembly seats, topped all 16 assembly segments which constitute the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.

At present, PDP represents 12 of these constituencies in the assembly. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti became the first woman to have twice won Lok Sabha elections from Jammu and Kashmir as she defeated sitting MP Mehbooba Beg of National Conference by a margin of over 65,000 votes.

She won from Anantnag in 2004 but did not contest in 2009.

The Opposition party also managed to storm the National Conference bastion of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency – the ruling party had never lost an election from here till yesterday – as Tariq Hamid Karra upset Union minister Farooq Abdullah by a margin of over 42,000 votes.

PTI

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