Srinagar | Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and most of his colleagues in the council of ministers were humbled at the hustings as the results for the state legislative Assembly polls were declared today. While Omar lost from Sonawar Assembly segment by a margin of over 4,700 votes, the National Conference (NC) leader managed to win from the Beerwah constituency in Budgam district by a slender margin of over 1,000 votes.
In all, eight ministers from Congress, six from NC and one from Democratic Party Nationalist lost the elections. Prominent among the losers included Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Health Minister Taj Mohiuddin, Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir (all Congress), Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather and Social Welfare Minister Sakina Itoo (both NC) and Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir (DPN). Horticulture Minister Raman Bhalla, PHE minister Sham Lal Sharma, Cooperatives Minister Manohar Lal Sharma and R&B Minister Abdul Majid Wani (all Congress) lost to their rivals from BJP.
Haj and Auqaf Minister and Congress leader Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed lost to PDP candidate and namesake of Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather. Law Minister Mir Saifullah and CAPD Minister Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan (both NC) lost to Peoples Conference’s Bashir Ahmad Dar and Sajjad Ghani Lone, respectively. National Conference leader and Planning Minister Ajay Kumar Sadhotra lost to BJP incumbent MLA Sukhnandan Kumar from Marh Assembly segment in Jammu district.
The ministers who won their seats included Rural Development Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar, Forests Minister Mian Altaf, Higher Education Minister Mohammad Akbar Lone and MoS Animal Husbandry Minister Nazir Ahmad Khan Gurezi. Urban Development Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora, MoS Power Vikar Rasool and MoS Revenue Aijaz Khan were the only ministers from Congress who managed to retain their seats.
Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir was part of Awami Mutahida Mahaz and was defeated by PDP candidate Mohammad Abbass Wani from Gulmarg constituency. Additional General Secretary of National Conference Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, who is also uncle of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, was distant fourth.
Awami Mutahida Mahaz, an umbrella of various mainstream political parties including CPI(M) and Peoples Democratic Front led by Hakeem Yaseen, was floated recently and was billed as a third front. However, the front failed to garner much support as only CPI(M) candidate M Y Tarigami and Yaseen managed to retain their seats, staving off a strong opposition by PDP candidates.
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