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National Conference sweeps Srinagar
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December 28, 2008 22:09 IST

The National Conference, which is emerging as the single largest party in a hung assembly in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], has made a clean sweep of the eight constituencies in Srinagar [Images].

Considered to be stronghold of the separatists, the city recorded 20 per cent polling in the final phase of elections held on December 24.

NC patron Farooq Abdullah won from both the constituencies of Hazratbal and Sonawar. The immediate rival of Abdullah in both the seats were PDP candidates.

The PDP suffered a shock defeat in Batmaloo constituency where its former minister and general secretary Tariq Hameed Karra lost to Irfan Shah of NC by a margin of 2,500 votes.

Karra had wrested the seat from NC in a by-poll in 2004.

NC candidates Mubarak Gul, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Shameema Firdous, Naseer Ahmad Wani and Pir Aafaq won from Idgah, Khanyar, Habba Kadal, Amirakadal and Zadibal constituencies, respectively.

In 2002 elections, National Conference had bagged five city seats while two went to Independents and another was won by the Congress.

However, PDP made a clean sweep of Pulwama and Shopian districts winning all the six seats (four in Pulwama and two in Shopian) and also did well in Anantnag and Kulgam districts winning six of the ten seats.

The most important victory of PDP came from Anantnag from where party patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was elected for the first time. Sayeed, who entered the state assembly through bypoll held in 2004 from Pahalgam constituency, vacated by his daughter Mehbooba Mufti after her election to Lok Sabha, shifted to Anantnag this time and defeated NC provincial president Mehboob Beg.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti won from Wachi.

In Anantnag district, Congress retained two seats of Dooru and Kokernag. while G A Mir was declared elected from Dooru constituency, former JKPCC President Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed retained Kokernag seat.

State Secretary of the CPI-M M Y Tarigami managed to retain the Kulgam seat after overcoming stiff resistance from PDP.

Influential Independent candidate Abdul Rashid defeated National Conference stalwart Sharifuddin Shariq in Langate constituency of Kupwara district.

Gulmarg and Khansahib seats returned heads of two regional parties -- Democratic Party (Nationalist) leader Ghulam [Images] Hassan Mir (Gulmarg) and Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen (Khansahib) of People's Democratic Front.

The victory of Mir and Hakeem could be helpful for Congress as both have already announced their intention to support the party.

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