Srinagar, Dec 23: PDP today wrested the National Conference stronghold of Srinagar by winning five out of eight seats while all BJP candidates except one lost their deposit in the summer capital and the rest of the Valley.
A major loss for National Conference was the defeat of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at the hands of PDP candidate Mohammad Ashraf Mir in Sonawar by a margin of 4,783 votes though the NC leader won from Beerwah seat.
I wish him and the people all good luck for the next six years," Omar said in a tweet. The other major loser for National Conference in Srinagar was the part's provincial president and former minister Nasir Aslam Wani who was defeated by PDP candidate Altaf Bukhari by a margin of over 5000 votes.
However, National Conference stalwarts Rural Development Minister Ali Mohamad Sagar and Speaker Mubarak Gul managed to retain their Khanyar and Eidgah seats by staving off a strong challenge from PDP candidates.
While Sagar won by a margin of 1,167 votes for a sixth consecutive term in the legislative assembly, Gul scrapped past the finish line by 608 votes for a fifth term. National Conference had won all the eight seats in Srinagar district in 2008 elections on the plank of alleged discrimination with the summer capital of the state by the PDP-Congress coalition government between 2002 and 2008.
Shameema Firdous was the only National Conference candidate who won by relatively comfortable margin of 2,359 votes against BJP candidate Moti Koul who polled 2,589 votes and managed to save his deposit unlike the rest of the party candidates in Kashmir.
Masood-ul-Hassan, fighting from Hazratbal constituency, was the best performer for the BJP in Srinagar as he got 2,635 votes but he too could not save his deposit. He was followed by Zubair Ahmad Wani from Batmaloo (1,304) and Dharakshan Indrabi (1100).
Hina Bhat, the BJP candidate from Amirakadal seat who had sparked a controversy by allegedly slapping an election officer during polling, managed to get only 656 votes, while Neelam Gash in Zadibal segment got just 360 votes. Hina had denied the assualt charge.
A candidate loses his deposit on polling less than one-sixth of the total valid votes cast in a constituency. Asiea Naqash of PDP became the second woman candidate to win from Srinagar district as she stormed the National Conference bastion of Hazratbal.
This is the first time that National Conference candidate has lost from the constituency since 1957. Naqash polled 13,234 votes against 9,834 by National Conference candidate Mohammad Syed Akhoon.
PDP candidate Noor Mohammad Sheikh wrested the Batmaloo seat from National Conference MLA Irfan Shah by a margin of 4,327 votes. In 2002 elections, PDP's Tariq Hameed Karra had won from the seat but National Conference staged a comeback in the last assembly polls and won the seat.
During the Lok Sabha polls, Karra defeated National Conference president and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar seat and campaigned aggressively along with other party leaders during the assembly elections.
Abid Ansari of PDP defeated sitting MLA and National Conference candidate Peer Afaq Ahmad from Zadibal constituency by a margin of 3,003 votes.