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Counting begins in three constituencies

Written by: Staff
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Baramulla, Apr 27 : The counting of votes began in three Assembly constituencies of Pattan, Sangrama and Rafiabad this morning, where bypoll was held on April 24.

A UNI correspondent present in the counting hall said, the counting started exactly at 0800 hours smoothly in the presence of representatives of all contesting candidates.

He said initially the migrant votes were taken up for counting in all these constituencies.

Officials said all the 293 migrant votes in Rafiabad constituency have gone in favour of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Mohammad Dilawar Mir, seeking re-election from the seat.

In Pattan, four each migrant votes went in favour of PDP candidate Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and National Conference (NC) Advocate Mohammad Maqbool Mir.

However, all the 79 votes were polled in favour of Independent candidate Shoib Lone in Sangrama constituency, officials said.

Despite boycott call by separatists and militant threats, about 60 per cent voting had been recorded in the by-election in these constituencies.

About 67 per cent cast their votes in Rafiabad, 61 per cent in Pattan and 41 per cent in Sangrama.

There were four candidates each in the fray from Pattan and Rafiabad seats while Sangrama was witnessing a fight between seven contestants.

Though several political parties and independents were in the fray, the key contest was between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a ruling coalition partner, and the NC.

In Pattan, Mr Ansari is facing a tough fight from NC's Sheikh Mustaffa Kamal, brother of former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah while the main contest in Rafiabad is between PDP's Mohammad Dilwar Mir, and NC's Advocate Mohammad Maqbool Mir. However, in Sangrama, the NC had decided to support independent candidate Shoaib Nabi Lone, the son of then Minister of State for Education Dr Ghulam Nabi Lone, who was assassinated by unidentified gunmen at high-security Tulsi Bagh area in Srinagar on October 18 last year.

The PDP had fielded Javed Hussain Baig, the nephew of Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig, from the seat.

The by-elections in Pattan and Rafiabad had been necessitated following the resignation of sitting legislators -- Moulvi Ansari and Mr Mir respectively -- after they left the NC to join the PDP.

The bypoll in Sangrama has been necessitated due to the killing of Dr Lone.

Besides Moulvi Ansari and Dr Kamal, the other candidates in the fray from Pattan are two independents - Abdul Ahad Najar and Nazir Ahmed Mir.

In Rafiabad, BJP's Mohammad Maqbool War and Abdul Khaliq Sheikh of the Panthers Party are also in the fray and in Sangrama three independents -- Zafarullah Beigh, Abdul Rehman Lone and Ghulam Mohiuddin Bhat -- besides Sonaullah Beigh of the Panthers Party and Javed Ahmed Qureshi of the Rashtriya Lok Dal are fighting the electoral battle.

Pattan had a total 76,355 voters, including 37,043 women, while in Rafiabad a total electorate of 67,011 had 32,314 women.

In Sangrama constituency, out of the total 55,451 voters, 26,653 were women.

UNI

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