Category Archives: jammu and kashmir elections

Kashmir’s sarpanchs and amarnath

My Sikh friend, who happens to be a panch in his village at Kashmir had told me last year that he was sidelined to become a Sarpanch, when elections were held in Kashmir for panch’s and Sarpanch’s.The media had particularly highlighted those elections as a sigh of victory for minorities of Kashmir as two Kashmiri Pandits had also won their respective elections.

In 2008-09, a huge turnover of voters had put the militants and separatists of Kashmir on Backfoot. When confronted by the media , they had stated that people had come to vote, simply to redress their local grievances and had reiterated that the elections had nothing to do with their so called movement of right of self-determination.

It is a common known fact that the separatists are hand in glove with the jihadi-mindset-armed terrorists backed by Pakistan. Separatists are the mouth-piece of Pakistan, whereas the armed militants ,who have been killing people, are their action Robots, and their hands and bodies are drenched in the blood of minorities and those who oppose them.
After the elections of 2008-09, the mouth-piece of Pakistan(separatists) had stated that people had come in hoards to vote for development-their fundamental right. But why is this right being murdered and chocked by terrorists who have threatened and killed the sarpanchs?

The recent killing of Sarpanch Ghulam Mohammed yatoo of palhalan village has forced 40 more panchs and sarpanchs to resign from their respective jobs.Lashkar-e-toiba(LET) – a terrorist organization funded by pakistan’s I.S.I -are alleged to be the masterminds of these murders.

Panchayti system is the base for the development of villages in India, Development is the last thing that Pakistan and its stooges wish for Kashmir. They want bruised people, void of emotional and financial strengths, frustrated, neglected, in dark and without any ray of Hope, only then, they can manipulate their mind and Heart. A strong panchyati raj is anathema to their vicious plans.

It is not the first time the separatists have sealed their mouths on this grave issue, In the past also they have turned a blind eye on the murders by the terrorists. This dichotomous approach, on the killings of common Kashmiris, has made it evident the chameleonic heart of the separatists leaders.

The lives of Human beings are weighed on the basis of their religions and on the basis of their support .That is why the separatists have opposed the move to the proposed construction of Road to the Holy shrine of Amarnath.At least 1000 people have died during the annual yatra of Shri Amarnathji during last 2 decades ,out of these 90% of lives could have been saved as most of the victims died of high-altitude ,lack of infrastructure and lack of immediate help. All these problems could have been solved, had there been an all-weather road.

This Yatra brings prosperity to the locals of Kashmir, particularly those locals who reside in pahalgam, baltal and Sonamarg. During the yatra, Many kashmiri locals and Gurjars from other places work here as porters. Most of the Yatris also visit other places in Kashmir such as Srinagar ,Gulmarg, Sonmarg and many more places, thereby adding revenue to the tourism industry of Kashmir-the biggest economy of Kashmir.

The separatists have given an excuse of environmental degradation if a road is constructed up to the shrine. True, there will be some impact on the environment, but it will be far less than the impact it had on the construction of Moughal route. The route from Chandanwari to The holy shrine is virtually tree-less, with no permanent human settlement or population. The route from Baltal to the Holy cave is also without trees and permanent human population. Environment is not the only issue raised by the separatists, Their figment of imagination and xenophobiaism had forced them to allege in 2008 that India wants to settle down 10 lakh ex-army men in Baltal area and thereby manipulate the population ratio of Kashmir. On the Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, they chose to ignore this fact and remain mum.

India has till date kept its promise of UN resolution, Outsiders can not become residents of J&k due to the article 370.On the other hand, Pakistan has mauled the UN resolution 1948,they have totally changed the demography of P.O.K by settling non-locals in POK,By doing such acts they have nullified the UN resolution 1948.

My sikh friend who is a Panch ,last evening told me over phone that he is mulling to give his resignation as he too is petrified by the threatening calls and Murders of Panchs and Surpanchs.The conflict on the subject of freedom continues-This time on the freedom and right of development of Villages……

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The crisis of Kashmiri Pandit Identity

19 January 2012 will complete 22 years in exile for Kashmiri Pandits(KP).This minority community of Kashmir were forced to leave their hearth and Homes 22 years back as there was total anarchy and oglocracy in Kashmir. some rabid , religious fundamental zealots were on rampage and Target shooting of KP’s had become their Hobby.In this whole chaos KP homes were plundered and some pyromaniacs set many KP houses on fire. All this happened on the name of Jihad.

At least 4 lakh KP’s left their homeland in the chilling nights of jan 1990 to safeguard their lives, honor and dignity. Today this beleaguered community is scattered all over world-Thanks to Govt. Apathy-with majority of Kp’s dwelling in India particularly Jammu and Delhi Region.

Even after 22 years GOI has no blue print to bring back KP’s to their Homeland-Kashmir. GOI has negated the fact that KP’s are refugees in their own country, they better call KP’s Internally Displaced. Technically or terminologically they may be right but this terminology is more of a Hogwash, a misnomer as “Internally displaced” tag of KP’s misleads one to think that Govt. is going to reverse the migration of KP’s from Kashmir. Till today-even after 22 years nothing has happened.

Post 1990,The successive governments led by either National conference or PDP, came to power in J&K with the support of congress(i), have been pre-occupied with other things and most of their activities are executed with one thing in mind-to increase the vote bank-Unfortunately KP’s do not form any sizeable vote bank and thus the Rights of KP’s have been depredated from time to time, especially since Jan 1990.

Jammu region has a majority of Hindu population and overall in J&K, Hindus constitute around 30% of the total population. Being a Muslim majority state most of the policies are majority centric. Hindus of J& K have felt disadvantageous at many times, particularly in Govt. employments, they also don’t get the subsidies which their counterparts enjoy in Kashmir. Till today there has not been a single Hindu who has made it to become the chief Minister of J&K.

Religion and Culture are the bipods of healthy community, Jammu being a Hindu majority Region has given ample scope to everyone to practice their religion and Culture unlike Kashmir where KP’s faced the brunt of religious apartheid.
Today, K.P’s stand at crossroads, their homeland is so near still so far, their culture and religion is at the brink of extinction, their identity is being erased slowly by the polity of that Nation for which they were killed, raped, hounded and exiled. The need of the Hour is to preserve the unique culture and identity of KP’s, the unique identity that was soul of Kashmir, all that can happen only when KP’s come back to Kashmir-Their motherland .

The million dollar question arises,” can they come back to Kashmir and live as they used to?” the answer is a big “NO”. Most of the houses belonging to KP’s have been either sold out in distress, or they have been burnt down or they have been illegally captured by nefarious elements backed either by Govt. Machinery or Pakistan backed terrorists. The fact is they have nowhere to go if they come back to Kashmir.

Government knows this important point, they have in fact built some ghettos for KP’s where some Kp’s are residing, particularly those who were given jobs in Kashmir, Some of these KP’s have alleged that 4-5 people share a common room in these Ghettos and many basic facilities are missing in these government flats. These temporary ghettos are not a answer for reverse migration of KP’s. This way religious freedom and cultural identity of KP’s cannot be preserved. Anyways Ghettos give a feeling of being a alien.

The other viable solution is a separate homeland which is most popularly known as “Panun Kashmir”. This Homeland can preserve the religion, culture and identity of KP’s for generations. Panun Kashmir is a Homeland demand of KP’s that will enjoy a union territory status like Chandigarh and all those will be welcomed here who believe in India and Indian constitution.

For some reasons the present Govt. is opposing this demand also. Some of the govt. agencies have twisted the concept of Homeland of KP’s as sacrilegious and projected this demand akin to accession of Kashmir with Pakistan.

In either ways the Govt’s apathy is driving KP’s to oblivion. Govt at State or at center should make it a point that KP’s are brought back to Kashmir.22 years has passed and nothing concrete has been done to preserve the identity of Kashmiri Pandits. These 22 years have made me believe slowly but steadily that in future also Govt. will not do anything except wait and watch.

Tibetans have been given infrastructure, environment and everything else by the Indian Govt. just to protect their identity whereas KP’s have been deprived everything that can preserve their religion and culture. I have come to this conclusion that Govt. should now do one last favor to KP’s- Declare KP’s as Refugees and let KP’s reach out to other countries who have laws to protect the religious freedom and culture. At least that way cohesiveness of KP’s will prevail and their culture and religion will be saved.

I will be more than happy if my conclusion will be proven wrong by Govt’s deeds in coming 365 days.

Political empowerment of Kashmiri Pandits!!!!

Some years back, I along with a group of Kashmiri Pandits  got a chance to meet one of the top most politician (name withheld) of J&k and spent good two hours discussing Kashmir and its people. The politician looked keen to involve Kashmiri Pandits in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir. At that time the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir was Mr. Mufti Mohammed sayeed and his government had initiated and build condominiums for the migrant Kashmiri Pandits at Budgam. The senior politician candidly told us that there is a section of Kashmiri Muslims who is opposing the return of Pandits vitriolically as they have illegally captured the properties of Kashmiri Pandits .This politician also told us about the incapability of arresting the culprits by the administration as that can turn into a political Blunder. At that time,T.V and print media were also aggressively promoting the new found bonhomie between the two communities of Kashmir and many pundits even showed interest to go back to Kashmir and live in those flats.

PDP was signaling and conveying through different modes to Pandits to come back to Kashmir as they claimed that normalcy has returned to Kashmir, The other political heavyweight Mr. Faroq Abdullah in the meantime visited Kashmiri Pandits at Misriwala Camp, jammu and warned them not to return to Kashmir as Things were not congenial for the return of Pandits to valley. But sure That time around 2007 things looked more normal ….

During that time ,A KP friend of mine even bought a piece of land in Kashmir and was interested in building a new house, but it proved to be a Bubble waiting to be busted as after a year or two the Amarnath Land row agitation unveiled the curtains of hatred and showed the ugly facet of religious intolerance and rift- which was already present somewhere between Hindus and Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir. The spoilsport was played by Syed ali shah Geelani, a known xenophobiac , who played the role of a Demagogue and claimed that India is Building a colony in Baltal and told his followers that very soon by these tactics the Majority population will be Marginalized by Indian population, PDP also did not left any stone unturned and tacitly and sometimes openly supported Geelani and company.

Then came the Jammu and Kashmir elections and people of Jammu and Kashmir come out in Large numbers for voting which culminated in Mr.Omar Abdullah becoming the youngest Chief Minister of J&k. Many KP’s also tried their luck and jumped into the fray of electoral battle but all had to bite the dust. Not a Single KP won and not only that ,most the KP’s who had contested elections lost their security deposits, Even the traditional Habba Kadal seat was also lost which was otherwise considered to be a KP stronghold.

Now after a long Gap, the politics of Kashmir saw two new K.P entrants, a 52 year old housewife Ashajee, a Kashmiri Pandit , who was elected a Panch from Wussan village in Baramullah, and last week another Kashmiri Pandit ,Shri Makhan lal Zutshi was also elected Panch and that too unopposed from village Tahab,Pulwama. Their victory made Headlines in many newspapers and many congratulated them including me. But their victory also unfolded the untold story of political alienation which the KP’s have been facing since long.one of the reasons for exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was Political marginalization since KP’s do not have any political power in Jand K. lack of political will by the leading political parties of J&K was another reason for not taking any appropriate steps to bring back KP’s in the political fold at least since last two decades .

There are 4130 Sarpanchs(Kashmir-2164, Jammu-1966) 29719 Panchs(Kashmir-15959,Jammu-13760) number of Block Panchayats-143(Kashmir-77, Jammu-66) and 22 District Panchayats. Out of the given figure above two Kashmiri Pandits made it and became Panchs!!! What is this news conveying ? Is it the dawn of the political rebirth of Pandits or the Remnants of political decadence?

2 out of 29719 comes to 0.006%, Is this an achievement or shame!!! I will definitely term it as a big shame,a joke on the part of democracy…It is believed that the population of Kashmiri Pandits is no less than 7 Lakhs !!! though ,no survey has been done regarding the exact population of KP’s since many decades ,However there is a statistics(old) with JK government, but that is questionable and hence not authentic.

it has been reported by a section of Kashmiri Muslims who were architects of the exodus of K.P’s that there has been no Genocide of K.P’s, no one ousted K.P’s from Kashmir, Only Indian Army looted the houses of Kashmiri Pandits who left for safer places, No one destroyed the temples of Hindus of Kashmir but nobody can explain how and why the temples were broken!!!, Kashmiri pundits were lured by Jagmohan to leave Kashmir and leave their palatial Bunglows and Multi-crore properties only to live in tattered camps and get mindboggling Rs 800/family as assistance!!!

Coming back to panchayti elections, a Political section wants to project the news of KP’s winning panchayti elections as news which reflects political empowerment of K.P’s, But that is not. Elsewhere in India, becoming a panch or even a sarpanch does not make any ripples, but we are talking about Kashmir, that Kashmir which had a population of one million K.P’s in early twenth century and today not even 4000 are left , That is why two KP’s becoming Panchs have made Headlines…..But on the other side their victory has also stated without a word the general condition of Pandits and their story of last 21 years……

Jammu and Kashmir election results

JAMMU, Dec 28: As expected, the 11th Assembly of the State threw a fractured mandate with no party being able to garner even a simple majority in the House of 87 which saw National Conference emerging as a single largest party winning 28 seats followed by PDP which captured 21.

The Congress suffered major reverses especially in Jammu region where its all Cabinet Ministers and even a sitting Lok Sabha member lost the election reducing the party’s tally of 31 at the time of dissolution of House to just 17. The BJP gained at the expense of Congress jumping from just one seat in the 10th Assembly to a tally of 11, the majority of which (10) came from just two districts of Jammu (7) and Kathua (3).

The National Panthers Party (NPP) lost one seat and came down to a tally of three from four seats it held in the last Assembly. Former Minister Harshdev Singh, who had revolutionised education sector during first three years of coalition Government as an Education Minister, made a hat-trick in Ramnagar winning the seat by a huge margin of 12042 votes. However, NPP supremo, Prof Bhim Singh forfeited his security deposit in Jammu East.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which had contested second highest number of 83 seats behind 85 of NC, failed to open its account. The BSP had won four seats in 1996 and one in 2002. However, BSP’s lone MLA from Vijaypur, Manjit Singh had later defected to PDP. Other major national and regional parties, which couldn’t open their account, were Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Jammu State Morcha (Progressive), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bharatiya Bahujan Party (BBP).

Out of all 87 results declared by this evening, NC won 28 seats including 20 in Kashmir, 6 in Jammu and 2 in Kargil while PDP emerged second major group in the Assembly capturing 21 seats—19 in Kashmir and 2 in Jammu region. The PDP opened its account in Jammu winning Mendhar and Darhal seats as last time it had drawn blank.

The Congress won 17 seats, 14 less than the tally of 31 it held in the dissolved House. Out of 17 seats of Congress, 13 came from Jammu region, three from Kashmir and one from Leh. Congress had won 20 seats in 2002 but it wrested Poonch seat from NC in by election. Eleven Independent Candidates had joined Congress and 9 of them had been fielded again by the party.

The BJP, which was major beneficiary in the Assembly election reached two digit mark for the first time since its inception in 1982 as it won 11 seats but its tally was mainly confined to just three districts—7 in Jammu, 3 in Kathua and 1 in Reasi. The BJP had recorded its previous best tally of 8 in 1996. It had drawn blank in 1983, won only two seats in 1987 and one in 2002.

Mohd Yusuf Tarigami (CPM), Ghulam Hassan Mir (JKDP-N) and Hakim Mohd Yasin (PDF) opened account for their parties in Kashmir.

Four Independent candidates emerged victorious—two in Jammu and one each in Kashmir and Leh. They include fire brand Jammu leader, Ashwani Sharma, who recorded a thumping victory in Bishnah for second consecutive time and bureaucrat turned politician Charanjit Singh Jasrotia, who left behind former Minister Babu Singh and sitting Congress MP Lal Singh, to win Kathua seat. Abdul Rashid Sheikh (Langet in Kashmir) and Tsetan Namgayal (LUTF, Nobra) were other two Independent winners.

Leader of Opposition in 10th Assembly and prominent NC leader Abdul Rahim Rather created a history of sorts by becoming only first political leader in the State to record sixth consecutive victory from Charar-e-Sharief segment in Budgam district. He had won all Assembly polls from Charar-e-Sharief since 1977. Earlier, former Congress leader, Girdhari Lal Dogra held the record of five straight victories from Hiranagar from 1957 to 1977.

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad recorded highest victory margin of 29,436 in Bhaderwah segment, which he had won with 58,000 polls in 2006 by-election after taking over as Chief Minister of the State on November 2, 2005. In Kashmir, NC leader and former Deputy Speaker Mohd Akbar Lone recorded highest victory margin of 12,000 in Sonawari.

Three women made entry into the Assembly, all from Kashmir region. They include PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (Wachi), Sakina Itoo (Noorabad) and Shamima Firdous (Habbakadal), both NC.

The BJP and Congress had fielded two women candidates each in Jammu region and all four lost. They were Suman Bhagat, former Minister (RS Pura) and Kanta Andotra (Basohli), both Congress, who were members of previous Assembly and Satwant Kour Dogra (Samba) and Shilpi Verma (Bishnah), both BJP. The NC had not fielded any woman candidate in Jammu.

As the BJP virtually swept Jammu and Kathua districts in Jammu region winning 10 out of 16 seats at the stake, benefiting mainly due to 62 days long Amarnath land agitation, several bigwigs of Congress including all Cabinet Ministers from Jammu region and a sitting MP were sent biting the dust.

Former Deputy Chief Minister and Congress veteran Mangat Ram Sharma, a five time MLA, several time Minister, Speaker and MP was relegated to third place in Jammu West. Another Cabinet Minister in Congress led coalition Government, Gulchain Singh Charak finished third in Bishnah while Jugal Kishore (Reasi), Mula Ram (Raipur Domana), Suman Bhagat (RS Pura) and Lal Singh (Kathua) were all defeated with huge margins. Lal Singh, who is presently a Lok Sabha member from Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat and was a Cabinet Minister in PDP led coalition Government, was pushed to fifth place in Kathua. Lal Singh’s wife, Kanta Andotra was defeated by the BJP in Basohli, a seat held Lal Singh for two terms and Kanta for the third term.

Ministers of State from Congress in previous coalition including Gharu Ram (Suchetgarh), Dr Romesh Sharma (Nowshera), Prem Sagar Aziz (Bani) and Puran Singh (Darhal) lost the election. Another MoS Babu Singh (Congress rebel) lost in Kathua.

Despite the BJP surge, Speaker Tara Chand (Chhamb), Raman Bhalla (Gandhi Nagar), Sham Sharma (Akhnoor) and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma (Billawar) kept the Congress flag high in Jammu and Kathua districts winning their seats.

BJP suffered a major setback when its former State president Dr Nirmal Singh was defeated in Gandhi Nagar by Mr Bhalla with 2263 votes though the party managed to win two other City seats where its incumbent president Ashok Khajuria (City East) and former Union Minister Prof Chaman Lal Gupta (City West) won with comfortable margins. Another prominent BJP leader Pawan Gupta lost Udhampur seat to NPP candidate Balwant Singh Mankotia.

The NC made a clean sweep of all eight seats in Srinagar district.

Prominent NC leaders, who lost the election in Jammu region, were Ajatshatru Singh (Nagrota), who went down to BJP’s Jugal Kishore for second consecutive term, Ajay Sadhotra, provincial president (Marh), who too lost to BJP and Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardhy (Doda), who was defeated by Abdul Mujeed Wani (Congress) for second time.

Surjeet Singh Slathia (Vijaypur) and Radhey Shyam Sharma (Nowshera) staged a comeback for the NC having won the election in 1996 and lost in 2002. While Mr Slathia defeated BJP’s strong contender Chander Prakash Ganga, Mr Sharma overcame the challenge from Congress nominee Dr Romesh Sharma to win the seat.

Doda belt comprising six districts including Azad’s Bhaderwah sided with the Congress giving the party five seats leaving only one for the NC. The BJP drew a blank. The Congress candidates who won in Doda belt were Azad (Bhaderwah), Abdul Mujeed Wani (Doda), Ghulam Mohd Saroori (Inderwal), Ashok Kumar (Ramban) and Waqar Rasool (Banihal). NC could manage to win only Kishtwar seat with party leader Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo keeping the party flag high retaining the seat for second consecutive term.

Out of 11 seats in Jammu district, seven went to BJP, three to Congress and one to an Independent while NC drew a blank. NC had won four seats in Jammu district in 1996. Out of two seats in Samba district, one each was won by NC and NPP. Of five seats in Kathua district, BJP captured three while one each was grabbed by Congress and an Independent.

Udhampur district again sided with the NPP which won two out of three seat while one segment went to Congress. Out of three seats in Reasi district, one each went went to BJP, Congress and NC. Similarly, out of three seats in Poonch district, one each went to NC, PDP and Congress while out of four seats in Rajouri district, two went to NC and one each to PDP and Congress.

Prominent losers in Kashmir include People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts Qazi Mohammad Afzal (Ganderbal), Tariq Hamid Qarra (Batmaloo), Abdul Aziz Zargar (Noorabad) and Dillawar Mir (Rafiabad). All the four PDP leaders lost to their National Conference rivals.

In Jammu East, BJP’s Ashok Khajuria polled 15,857 votes and defeated Congress nominee Narender Singh Raju by 10,404 votes. Raju got 5453 votes while Independent Sanjay Mahay, a Corporator in JMC, got 3473 votes. A total of 31,262 votes had been polled in City East. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

In Jammu City West, out of a total of 85,013 votes polled, BJP leader Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, a former Union Minister and three time MP secured 34,288 votes followed by Independent candidate Surinder Singh Shingari who got 21,251 votes. Congress veteran Mangat Ram Sharma got only 13,853 votes and finished third. Gupta won by a margin of 13037 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

Gandhi Nagar was only constituency in Jammu City which went to the Congress. Out of 90,161 votes polled, Congress stalwart Raman Bhalla got 33,486 votes while former State BJP chief Dr Nirmal Singh took 31,223 votes. NC candidate Tarlochan Singh Wazir, MLC took 18,935 votes. Bhalla retained the seat by a margin of 2263 votes.

BJP leader Jugal Kishore recorded second straight victory in Nagrota over Ajatshatru Singh, the scion of erstwhile rulers of the State. Out of a total of 47,948 votes polled, Kishore secured 11,141 votes and won the seat by 1620 votes. Ajatshatru got 9521 votes while PDF’s Sobat Ali took 7817 votes.

Prominent Jammu leader Ashwani Sharma again emerged champion in Bishnah seat for a second term despite the fact that several candidates were pitted against him from Bishnah town to defeat him. Sharma, however, overcame all challenged and polled 14006 out of a total of 60,515 votes. His nearest rival Kamal Arora got 13,560 votes while Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Gulchain Singh Charak finished third taking just 8155 votes.

RS Pura (Reserve) seat was also won by BJP’s newcomer, Dr Garu Bhagat, a Professor in SKUAST Jammu, who polled 15,902 votes out of a total of 52,326 votes. His nearest rival and former Congress Minister Suman Bhagat got 14,272 cotes while NC leader Romesh Motton secured 11,929 votes. Dr Garu wrested the seat from Congress by 1630 votes.

Sham Choudhary (BJP) recorded an impressive victory margin of 7592. Out of 45,476 votes polled, Choudhary got 17,995 while NC leader Taranjit Singh Tony managed 10,403. Congress candidates and former Minister Choudhary Garu Ram was relegated to third spot polling only 6545 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

BJP’s Choudhary Sukhnandan won from Marh by a margin of 6581 votes. While Sukhnandan polled 18,368 votes, NC leader and former Minister Ajay Sadhotra got 11,787 votes. Independent and Congress rebel Balwant Singh took 9207 votes. BJP wrested the seat from NC.

Newcomer in BJP Bharat Bushan defeated Congress stalwart and former Minister Mula Ram by 12,312 votes. Bushan polled 28,685 votes while Mula Ram got 16,373 votes. NC’s Sat Pal Lakhotra finished third with 6333 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

Speaker Tara Chand won Chhamb seat for third consecutive term polling 25,335 votes out of a total of 51,789 votes polls. His immediate BJP rival Chaman Lal Kanaithia for 22,940 votes. Tara Chand retained the seat by 2395 votes.

Sham Sharma (Congress) polled 31,600 votes and won the seat by 13,884 votes. His BJP rival Govind Ram Sharma took 17716 votes while BSP’s Vijay Kumar had 6668 votes. Congress retained the seat.

In Samba district, Samba seat was retained by NPP’s Yashpal Kundal, a former Minister by 1989 votes. Kundal polled 14,631 votes while BJP’s Satwant Kour Dogra got 12,642 votes. Subash Bhagat (Congress) took 10,714 votes, Som Nath (BSP) took 6647 votes and NC’s Som Nath Manyal got 6361 votes. A total of 53,900 votes were polled in Samba.

In Vijaypur segment, NC’s Surjit Singh Slathia won the seat by 1212 votes defeating BJP’s popular leader Chander Prakash Ganga. Slathia had won the seat in 1996 but lost to BSP’s Manjit Singh in 2002. Manjit had later joined PDP. Votes polled by prominent candidates in Vijaypur include Slathia (21,090), Ganga (19,878), Manjit Singh, PDP (12,445), Rajesh Pargotra, NPP (11,054), Hari Singh, Congress (1376), Jarnail Singh, BSP (1066) and Sat Pal, BBP (6091).

In Kathua, Independent Charanjit Singh Jasrotia bagged 19,123 votes and won the seat by 2362 votes. Votes polled by other noted candidates in Kathua include Som Raj Majotra (BSP, 16761), Babu Singh (Independent, 10,887), Prof Sain Dass (BJP, 7913) and Lal Singh (Congress, 6053). A total of 74070 votes were polled in Kathua.

Out of 64680 votes polled in Hiranagar, BJP’s Durga Dass got 19,633 votes followed by BJP revel and Independent Prem Lal, who got 16,881 votes. Congress candidate Girdhari Lal Chalotra finished third with 14,011 votes.

Congress candidate Dr Manohar Lal Sharma retained Billawar seat by 8329 votes. He polled 22,137 votes followed by Satish Sharma, BJP (13808), Romy Khajuria, NC (9363), Balbir Singh, Independent and Congress rebel (6352) and Pankaj Dogra, Independent and Congress rebel (3800). A total of 64,680 votes were polled in Billawar.

Out of 23,903 votes polled in Bani, BJP’s Lal Chand took 10,936 while NC’s Ghulam Haider Malik got 8663. Congress candidate and former Minister Prem Sagar Aziz was pushed to third spot with 4462 votes. Lal Chand won by 2273 votes.

BJP’s Jagdish Sapolia finally emerged victorious from Basohli after having lost three elections consecutively. He got 16,651 votes out of a total of 47,235 votes polled. NC’s Devinder Singh Bindhu secured 13,770 votes while Lal Singh’s wife, Kanta Andotra finished third with 13,381 votes.

In Reasi district, BJP’s Baldev Raj Sharma emerged victorious after losing twice in 1996 and 2002. He defeated Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister in Azad Government, Jugal Kishore by 6665 votes. Baldev polled 26,031 votes while Kishore got 19,369 votes. NC candidate and former Minister Jagjivan Lal took 15,653 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

Gool-Arnas seat was retained by Congress when former Minister Aijaz Khan defeated NC’s Ghulam Qadar Mughal by a margin of 3452 votes. Aijaz polled 15,594 votes while Mughal got 12,142 votes. BJP’s Kabla Singh finished third with 8204 votes.

NC candidate Abdul Gani Malik won Gulabgarh seat for a third term polling 14,268 votes. His Independent rival Mumtaz Ahmed, brother of Aijaz Khan, got 11,020 votes. Malik won by 3248 votes.

In Udhampur district, NPP strongman and former Minister, Harshdev Singh scored a hat-trick in Ramnagar winning the seat by a huge margin of 12,042 votes. Harshdev secured 30,439 votes while his immediate rival Vinod Khajuria of BSP got 18,397 followed by Congress rebel RS Pathania 9254, Thakur Dass (Congress) 1489 and Rakesh Anthal (BJP) 825. A total of 64,598 votes were polled in Ramnagar.

NPP leader Balwant Singh Mankotia retained Udhampur proper defeating BJP’s Pawan Gupta by 2770 votes. Mankotia polled 25,259 votes while Pawan got 22,489 votes. Brij Mohan Sharma of Congress got 10,617 votes and BSP’s Dhanni Ram Atri polled 6571 votes. A total of 71,074 votes were polled in Udhampur.

Out of 45,788 votes polled in Chenani, Congress winner Krishan Chander Bhagat secured 16,276 votes followed by BJP’s Dina Nath Bhagat, who took 9838 votes while NPP candidate Faquir Nath got 9131 votes. Congress wrested the seat from NPP with 6438 votes.

In Bhaderwah segment of Doda district, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad polled 38,238 votes to retain the seat while Daya Krishan Kotwal (BJP) got 8802 votes, Aslam Goni (NC) 6687 votes and Sheikh Mujeeb (PDP) took 2807 votes. Azad won the seat by 29,436 votes.

Doda proper was also retained by Congress candidate and former Minister Abdul Mujeed Wani who secured 23,254 votes while his NC rival Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardhy had 16,102 votes. BJP’s Ishtiyaq Wani took 2756 votes while PDP candidate got 1310 votes. Wani won by a margin of 7152 votes.

In Kishtwar district, NC candidate Sajjad Kitchloo retained Kishtwar seat by 2465 votes defeating his nearest rival Sunil Sharma of BJP. Out of 51,106 votes polled, Kitchloo took 19,248 votes while Sharma got 16,783. PDP candidate Syed Asgar Ali could muster only 10,403 votes while Congress candidate Jugal Bhandari managed 1121 votes.

Inderwal seat was also retained by Congress candidate and former Minister Ghulam Mohd Saroori by a margin of 10,411 votes. Out of 52,904 votes polled, Saroori took 22,682 while BJP candidate Shakti Parihar polled 12,269 and NC’s Karim Wani managed 9002.

Congress candidate Waqar Rasool won Banihal seat in Ramban district taking 8287 votes and defeating Independent candidate Showkat Daing by 3033 votes. Daing got 5254 votes while former MLA Banihal Moulvi Abdul Rashid secured 4960 votes. NC’s Sajjad Shaheen had 4558 votes.

Ramban seat also went to Congress with its candidate Ashok Kumar polling 21,779 votes, BJP’s Bali Bhagat 11,460 votes and NC’s Chaman Lal 11,395 votes. Chaman Lal was MLA in the previous Assembly. Congress won the seat by 10,319 votes.

In Poonch district, Poonch-Haveli seat went to NC’s Aijaz Jan, who polled 28,297 votes out of a total of 71,414 votes polled. Congress candidate Bashir Naz took 18,364 votes, PDP’s Imtiyaz Bandey got 11,950 votes while BJP’s Pardeep Sharma polled 6980 votes. Jan won the seat by nearly 10,000 votes.

Former PCC (I) chief and ex-Rajya Sabha member, Choudhary Aslam won Surankote seat after losing twice to NC’s Syed Mushtaq Bukhari. While Aslam managed 28,102 votes, Bukhari took 26,051 votes. PDP candidate Mumtaz Hussain Shah, a cousin of Bukhari took 6585 votes out of a total of 63,553 votes polled. Aslam won the seat by nearly 2200 votes.

NC leader Javed Rana lost in Mendhar to PDP’s Rafiq Hussain Khan by about 750 votes. While Rana polled 28,294 votes, Khan took 29,036 votes. Congress candidate Majeed Ahmed Khan polled 1559 votes only out of a total of 77,378 votes polled. PDP wrested the seat from NC.

In Rajouri district, Congress candidate Shabir Khan registered victory by 333 votes over PDP candidate Master Tassaduq Hussain. While Khan polled 10,013 votes, Tassaduq took 9680 votes. BJP’s Vibodh Gupta finished third at 8712 votes. Congress wrested the seat from NC.

Darhal seat went to PDP candidate Zulfikar Ali who polled 19,395 votes and defeated Independent Iqbal Malik (14,839 votes) by a margin of 4556 votes. NC candidate Choudhary Liaquat got 14,221 votes and Congress nominee and former Minister Puran Singh mustered only 12,500 votes. PDP wrested the seat from Congress.

NC leader RS Sharma recorded impressive victory in Nowshera by 3820 votes over Congress candidate and former Minister Dr Romesh Sharma. NC leader polled 16,511 votes while Congress candidate got 12,691 votes. BSP candidate Surinder Choudhary polled 12,186 votes while BJP’s Vishwinder Dev finished fourth at 11,701 votes. NC wrested the seat from Congress.

NC candidate Rashpal Singh retained Kalakote seat by 11,420 votes. He polled 25,314 votes while Congress rebel and Independent candidate Ashok Sharma got 13,894 votes. PDP candidate polled 7742 votes while Congress candidate Abdul Gani Kohli got 1077 votes.

In Kargil district, NC’s Qamar Ali Akhoon won Kargil seat defeating Independent Haji Nissar Ali, backed by Congress with nearly 3000 votes. Akhoon polled 22,935 votes while Haji got 17,635 votes. In Zanskar, NC’s Feroz Khan won by 918 votes. He secured 6552 votes while Congress candidate Ghulam Raza took 5634 votes.

In Leh district, Congress candidate and former Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora defeated sitting MP from Ladakh and LUTF nominee Thupstan Chewang by 1523 votes. Jora polled 19,008 votes while Chewang got 17,485 votes. In Nobra, LUTF candidate Tsetan Namgayal got 4608 votes while Congress candidate Tsewang Rigzin took 3778 votes. Tsetan won by 930 votes.

Qazi Afzal, who had defeated Omar Abdullah in 2002 polls, lost the Ganderbal constituency this time to the NC chief by a huge margin of 3,600 votes.

Similarly Tariq Qarra, who had entered into the Assembly in 2004 by-polls, was defeated by Irfan Ahmad Shah of National Conference.

Sakina Itoo made it to the Assembly from Noorabad constituency by defeating Zargar, who had won the earlier duel in 2002.

In the battle of rebels, PDP rebel Javaid Ahmad Dar, contesting on NC ticket, prevailed over National Conference rebel Mohammad Dillawar Mir, who had defected to PDP in 2005.

Usman Majid, Congress-backed Independent from Bandipora who was a Minister both in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led Government as well as Ghulam Nabi Azad-led dispensation, lost to PDP general secretary and MLC Nizamuddin Bhat.

Former Minister Ghulam Hassan Khan, who was contesting as an Independent candidate from Shopian constituency after he was denied ticket by PDP, lost to his PDP rival.

National Conference provincial president Dr Mehboob Beg was also among the prominent losers as he lost to former Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed from Anantnag constituency by a margin of over 5000 votes.

Mustafa Kamal, younger brother of NC patron Farooq Abdullah, lost to Ghulam Hassan Mir, a PDP rebel who had floated his own party before the seven-phased elections.

Former Minister Haji Nissar Ali, who was backed as an Independent candidate by Congress, lost by 3000 votes to his National Conference rival Qamar Ali Akhoon.

Abdul Rashid Shaheen of National Conference, Lok Sabha member from Baramulla constituency, was defeated by PDP leader Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari while another Lok Sabha member, Thupstan Chewang, who represents Leh Parliamentary seat, lost to former Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora of Congress by about 1500 votes.

The NC and PDP improved their position in the Kashmir region at the cost of Congress, CPI(M) and Independents.

Against 19 seats in 2002, the NC has improved by three seats while PDP won 19 seats against 16 in 2002.

However, the NC suffered a loss of one seat in North Kashmir where a total 15 seats were at stake. Against winning 8 seats in 2002, the party could won from seven seats this time.

PDP, however, improved winning five seats against three in 2002 while Congress could manage to get only one seat this time against two in 2002. The others retained two seats.

In South Kashmir, the NC got one seat this time against 2 in 2002. However, PDP improved by three seats as it had won nine in 2002 against 12 this time. But again Congress won two against three seats in 2002 while Communist Party of India (M) retained one and lost another.

Similarly, NC won two seats in Ladakh region, an improvement by one seat while Congress won one against zero in 2002. Only one Independent won against three in 2002 in the region.

The NC registered a major gain in Central Kashmir winning 12 seats against 8 in 2002. It made a clean sweep in Srinagar district winning all the eight seats this time against four in 2002.

The PDP lost one as against three seats in 2002 as it could get just two this time. Peoples Democratic Front retained one seat while all the three Independents lost this time.

The oldest political party of the State was particularly bouyed by the fact that both Patron Farooq Abdullah and president Omar Abdullah won the three seats they were contesting.

Abdullah senior, defeated PDP rivals from Hazratbal as well as Sonawar constituencies while his son Omar got his revenege this time by winning in Ganderbal Assembly constituency.

Ali Mohammad Sagar of National Conference was elected to the State Assembly for the fifth consecutive time. He won from Khanyar constituency for the third straight time. He had earlier won from Batamaloo in 1987 and 1983 elections.

Mubarak Gul of National Conference also made it three times in a row from Iddgah constituency while Shamima Firdous of the same party romped home a clear winner in Habbakadal constituency by defeating BJP candidate Hiralal Chatta by more than 2000 votes. Firdous, had lost to Raman Mattoo in 2002 elections.

NC leader Peer Mohammad Afaq defeated former MLA Shahejehan Dar of the PDP in Zadibal constituency.

However, the surprise package from the National Conference was Nasir Aslam Wani, who won from Amirakadal seat, proving all his critics wrong. Wani, who hailed from Sogam area in Kupwara district, overcame stiff challenge from PDP candidate Pervaiz Ahmad Bhat, Ahmreen Badar of Congress, and JKANC vice president Muzaffar Shah besides putting to rest the outsider-native debate that had raged in the constituency during the campaign.

In Kangan constituency, Mian Mohammad Altaf of NC was declared elected for the fourth straight time while Mohamamd Ashraf Ganaie wrested from Congress the Sopore seat.

Former Deputy Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone (NC) retained his Sonwari seat by a huge margin of over 12,000 votes while Nazir Ahmad Khan, Kafilur Rehman and Mir Saifullah (all NC) scored hattrick from Gurez, Karnah and Kupwara seats respectively.

However, the National Conference suffered setbacks in Lolab and Langate Assembly constituencies where PDP leader Abdul Haq Khan and Independent Abdul Rashid Shiekh defeated its candidates. The losers from these two seats were Qaiser Jamsheed Lone and Shariefuddin Shariq respectively.

Although PDP consolidated its gains made in 2002 polls by adding five more seats to its tally of 16 this year, the party suffered some shock defeats at the hands of National Conference. PDP stalwart and former Minister Tariq Hamid Qarra lost to Irfan Shah in Batamaloo segment while another former Minister of the party Dilawar Mir was defeated by PDP rebel and NC candidate Javaid Ahmad Dar in Rafiabad segment.

Abdul Aziz Zargar also lot his Noorabad seat to National Conference’s Sakina Ittoo.

However, the party made a clean sweep of Pulwama and Shopian districts, bagging all the six seats. The party also did well in Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed defeated NC provincial president Mehboob Beg in Anantnag constituency while PDP president Mehbooba Mufti won comfortably from Wacchi constituency.

Sartaj Madni, Abdul Gaffar Sofi, Abdul Rehman Bhat Veeri, Syed Bashir and Mohammad Khalil Bandh all retained Devsar, Homshalibugh, Bijbehara, Rajpora and Pulwama seats respectively for the PDP.

The party, which did not give mandate to former Minister Ghulam Hassan Khan from Shopian as his name had figured in 2006 sex scandal investigations, fielded Abdul Razaq Wagay, who won by a comfortable margin.

In Budgam district the two parties shared the spoils as both bagged two seats each while the remaining seat went to People’s Democratic Front (PDF) chairman Hakim Mohammad Yasin.

Abdul Rahim Rather of National Conference prevailed over Legislative Council Chairman G N Lone of PDP in Chrar-e-Sharief. Rather won the seat for the record sixth time, having won all the elections since 1977. Aga Syed Roohullah retained his Budgam seat by defeated PDP leader M. Kamaal Mir.

The PDP won from Chadoora where Javid Mustafa Mir won ahead of National Conference candidate Ali Mohammad Dar and Congress candidate G N Mir. The party also won from Beerwah as Shafi Ahmad prevailed over the competition by a slender margin 164 votes.

Hakim Yasin had fallen behind PDP’s Saifuddin Bhat, a Hurriyat Conference deserter, but in the end prevailed.

The NC and PDP prospered in the Valley at the cost of Congress as the party managed to retain only three of the five seats it had won in 2002 elections.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, despite being arrested in the sex scandal case in 2006, managed to retain his Dooru seat as did Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed from Kokernag, who was himself embroiled in many controversies a year ahead of the elections.

Taj Mohiuddin retained the Uri seat for the party but Sopore and Amirakadal constituencies went to National Conference.

Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami of CPI(M) won the Kulgam seat for the third time in a row but Mohammad Khalil Naik, who had won from Wacchi in 2002, lost this time.

Ghulam Hassan Mir, a PDP rebel who floated Democratic Nationalist Party ahead of elections, won from Gulmarg seat, defeating PDP candidate Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh and Mustafa Kamal, National Conference leader and brother of Farooq Abdullah.

Final Tally

Total Seats 87

NC 28

PDP 21

Cong 17

BJP 11

NPP 03

CPM 01

JKDP-N 01

PDF 01

indpendant-04
source:daily excelsior

Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir

 

Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir

1.         List of 10 (Ten) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-I as per following schedule.

 

Issue of

Gazette

Notification

 

Last Date

for

nominations

 

Date for

Scrutiny of

Nominations

 

Last date for

withdrawal of

candidatures

 

Date of

poll if

necessary

 

24-10-2008 (Friday)

31-10-2008 (Friday)

01-11-2008 (Saturday)

03-11-2008 (Monday)

17-11-2008 (Monday)

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

9-Gurez

General

Bandipora

10-Bandipora

General

Bandipora

11-Sonawari

General

Bandipora

47-Nobra

General

Leh

48-Leh

General

Leh

49-Kargil

General

Kargil

50-Zanskar

General

Kargil

85-Surankote

General

Poonch

86-Mendhar

General

Poonch

87-Poonch-Haveli

General

Poonch

 

2.         List of 6 (Six) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-II as per following schedule.

 

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification

Last Date for nominations

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures

Date of

poll 

29.10.08 (Wednesday)

05.11.08 (Wednesday)

06.11.08 (Thursday)

08.11.08 (Saturday)

23.11.08

(Sunday)

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

16-Kangan

General

Ganderbal

17-Ganderbal

General

Ganderbal

81-Nowshara

General

Rajouri

82-Darhal

General

Rajouri

83-Rajouri

General

Rajouri

84-Kalakote

General

Rajouri


3.         List of 5 (Five) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-III as per following schedule.

 

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification

Last Date for nominations

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures

Date of

poll

04.11.08 (Tuesday)

11.11.08 (Tuesday)

12.11.08 (Wednesday)

14.11.08 (Friday)

30.11.08 (Sunday)

 

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

01-Karnah

General

Kupwara

02-Kupwara

General

Kupwara

03-Lolab

General

Kupwara

04-Handwara

General

Kupwara

05-Langate

General

Kupwara

 

4.         List of 18 (Eighteen) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-IV as per following schedule.

 

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification

Last Date for nominations

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures

Date of

poll 

10.11.08 (Monday)

17.11.08 (Monday)

18.11.08 (Tuesday)

20.11.08 (Thursday)

07.12.08 (Sunday)

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

06-Uri

General

Baramulla

07-Rafiabad

General

Baramulla

08-Sopore

General

Baramulla

12-Sangrama

General

Baramulla

13-Baramulla

General

Baramulla

14-Gulmarg

General

Baramulla

15-Pattan

General

Baramulla

26-Chadoora

General

Budgam

27-Badgam

General

Budgam

28-Beerwah

General

Budgam

29-Khansahib

General

Budgam

30-Chrar-i-Sharief

General

Budgam

57-Gulabgarh

General

Reasi

58-Reasi

General

Reasi

59-Gool Arnas

General

Reasi

60-Udhampur

General

Udhampur

61-Chenani

SC

Udhampur

62-Ramnagar

General

Udhampur


5.         List of 11 (Eleven) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-V as per following schedule.

 

 

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification

Last Date for nominations

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures

Date of

poll 

17.11.08 (Monday)

24.11.08 (Monday)

25.11.08 (Tuesday)

27.11.08 (Thursday)

13.12.08 

(Saturday)

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

31-Tral

General

Pulwama

32-Pampore

General

Pulwama

33-Pulwama

General

Pulwama

34-Rajpora

General

Pulwama

35-Wachi

General

Shopian

36-Shopian

General

Shopian

63-Bani

General

Kathua

64-Basohli

General

Kathua

65-Kathua

General

Kathua

66-Billawar

General

Kathua

67-Hiranagar

SC

Kathua

 

6.         List of 16 (Sixteen) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-VI as per following schedule.

 

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification

Last Date for nominations

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures

Date of

poll

22.11.08 (Saturday)

29.11.08 (Saturday)

01.12.08 (Monday)

03.12.08 (Wednesday)

17.12.08

(Wednesday)

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

37-Noorabad

General

Kulgam

38-Kulgam

General

Kulgam

39-Home-shalibugh

General

Kulgam

40-Anantnag

General

Anantnag

41-Devsar

General

Kulgam

42-Doru

General

Anantnag

43-Kokernag

General

Anantnag

44-Shangus

General

Anantnag

45-Bijbehara

General

Anantnag

46-Pahalgam

General

Anantnag

51-Kishtwar

General

Kishtwar

52-Inderwal

General

Kishtwar

53-Doda

General

Doda

54-Bhaderwah

General

Doda

55-Ramban

SC

Ramban

56-Banihal

General

Ramban

7.         List of 21 (Twenty One) Assembly Constituencies going to polls in Phase-VII as per following schedule.

 

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification

Last Date for nominations

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures

Date of

poll

26.11.08 (Wednesday)

03.12.08 (Wednesday)

04.12.08 (Thursday)

06.12.08 (Saturday)

24.12.08

(Wednesday)

 

Assembly Constituency

Type

District

18-Hazratbal

General

Srinagar

19-Zadibal

General

Srinagar

20-Idgah

General

Srinagar

21-Khanyar

General

Srinagar

22-Habbakadal

General

Srinagar

23-Amirakadal

General

Srinagar

24-Sonawar

General

Srinagar

25-Batamaloo

General

Srinagar

68-Samba

SC

Samba

69-Vijaypur

General

Samba

70-Nagrota

General

Jammu

71-Gandhinagar

General

Jammu

72-Jammu East

General

Jammu

73-Jammu West

General

Jammu

74-Bishnah

General

Jammu

75-R.S.Pura

SC

Jammu

76-Suchetgarh

General

Jammu

77-Marh

General

Jammu

78-Raipur Domana

SC

Jammu

79-Akhnoor

General

Jammu

80-Chhamb

SC

Jammu

 

8.         The dates of counting and completion of the elections will be 28.12.2008 (Sunday) and 31.12.2008 (Wednesday) respectively.