It was a hurricane of Narendra Modi and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that swept away the Omar Abdullah led National Conference-Congress coalition in the restive Jammu and Kashmir.
National Conference and Congress drew a blank in all the six parliamentary seats with two sitting union ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad biting the dust.
Modi wave swept Jammu region with BJP leaders Jugal Kishore Sharma and Jitendra Singh defeating Madan Lal Sharma from Jammu and union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad from Udhampur constituency respectively. BJP also made debut in Ladakh by wining the cold desert for the first time taking the party seats tally to three in the state.
It was PDP storm all the way in the Kashmir valley with its candidates sweeping all the three seats. Leading the charge was PDP president Mehbooba Mufti who defeated sitting NC MP Mehboob Beg from Anantnag constituency.
Baramulla parliamentary constituency sprung a surprise with Harvard educated former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig defeating the NC leader Sharief-ud-din Shariq in his own den.
But it was Tariq Hameed Karra, former PDP finance minister, who became the giant killer by defeating the NC president and union minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah from prestigious Srinagar constituency. The 77 year old three time chief minister had never lost the elections in his lifetime.
“This is a moment of glory for our party which has the distinction of being the youngest political organization of the state. It has been responsible for introducing a genuine competition in political scene of J&K, which had witnessed the predominance of only one political party for better part of the past century”, said Mehbooba Mufti, PDP president.
Visibly shaken Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah conceded the defeat and left the decision of his continuing as the head of the coalition government to his party.
“Should I continue or not is a question to be honest with you that I am still grappling with… This is my defeat more than anybody else’s and I will not sugarcoat that. Does the alliance or my party need me to fall on my sword to recover from here that is something my party can decide. If they want me I will have no hesitation”, Omar said.
BJP was not impressed and demanded immediate resignation of Omar Abdullah led government on moral grounds.
“Omar has lost the moral right to rule the state. People have rebuffed the NC which tried to be-fool people on autonomy bogey. People want progress in which he failed. Now he should resign immediately on moral grounds”, said Vibodh Gupta, senior vice-president of state BJP.
Seemingly rattled by being blanked out in J&K, Congress said they accept the people decision and will try to overcome their weaknesses before assembly polls which are less than six months away.
“People have given their decision and we accept it. It is a democratic set up and we will try to overcome our weakness”, said GN Monga, vice president of state Congress