PDP sufferes a setback
Srinagar, Apr 27 : The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a ruling alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir, has suffered a setback with the defeat of its candidates in bypolls to two of the three Assembly constituencies.
Senior PDP leader and top Shia cleric Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari was humbled by National Conference (NC) candidate Sheikh Mustaffa Kamal, the uncle of party chief Omar Abdullah, from Pattan constituency by more than 2500 votes. Moulvi Ansari had resigned from the seat after he defected to the PDP from the NC.
In Sangrama, 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, defeated PDP's Javed Hussain Baig, the nephew of Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig.
The NC had decided to support Mr Lone from the seat.
However, PDP General Secretary Mohammad Dilawar Mir managed to salvage some pride for the PDP by defeating NC's Advocate Mohammad Maqbool Mir from Rafiabad constituency. Mr Mir had also resigned from the seat after he defected to the PDP from the NC.
Significantly, the outcome of the April 24 by-elections will have no impact on the overall party position in the tenth Legislative Assembly.
After Mr Mir and Moulvi Ansari left the NC, the party had 24 members in the House and with today's win from one constituency, its tally has gone up to 25.
The Congress had 20 members in the House, but former Power Minister resigned his Bhaderwah seat to enable Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to seek his maiden entry into the state Assembly, reducing the tally by one seat.
However, Mr Azad's huge win from Bhaderwah over Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Dhanentar Singh has restored the Congress to its original tally.
The PDP had 17 members in the House, but has been reduced by one seat with the defeat of its candidate from Sangrama.
The House also has four Panthers Party members, two from the CPI(M), one each from the BJP, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Awami League and the Democratic Movement besides 14 independents and others.