Farooq Abdullah wins Srinagar bypoll

Reuters

His nearest rival got less than 3 per cent of the votes. The clash between security forces and youths have resulted in eight deaths on the polling day.

It may be noted that amid unrest, the Srinagar by poll saw a mere 7 per cent voter turnout.

Farooq Abdullah set to win, leads by 10,000 votes over PDP's Nazir Ahmad Khan.

The National Conference President said he would in all earnestness endeavor to be the voice of the alienated and isolated youth of the Valley who have been cornered, stereotyped and pushed to the wall by the politics of arrogance and polarization.

Amidst prevailing tension in Jammu and Kashmir and after winning his bypoll seat from Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah said that AFSPA should have left Kashmir long ago.

"How does it matter (that so many people boycotted the elections)?". In 2014, the polling percentage was 26%, compared with 7.14% this time.

He expressed gratitude towards the people who had risked their lives to come out to vote in "such a hard situation".

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The bypoll to the seat was necessitated after the then PDP leader Tariq Hamid Karra resigned in protest against the "atrocities" inflicted upon the people during the unrest triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani previous year.

The defeat, at the fag end of a long political career, was a major embarrassment for Farooq.

Farooq regretted the loss of lives in the election.

The Election Commission's decision to hold the elections is always based on the inputs of the State and centre governments, he said.

After his victory, he told reporters that Governor's Rule should be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir without delay.

The bypoll was marred with violence which killed eight people and dozens injured. A police officer, however, claimed Ahmad died in "mysterious" firing. "Now in this coalition government, Dr Farooq is calling the same stone-pelters as nationalists, which indicates that somewhere he is confused", she said. The students were apparently raising pro- azadi and anti-government slogans.

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