Srinagar: National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday won the bypoll to the Srinagar-Budgam Lok Sabha seat, beating his PDP (Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party) rival Nazir Ahmad Khan by a margin of over 10,700 votes.
Mr. Abdullah polled 48,554 votes against Mr. Khan, who got 37,779 votes, officials said. Although there were seven other candidates in the fray, it was NOTA that bagged the second-runner-up spot, with over 930 voters choosing this option.
The polling for the seat was held on April 9, 2017 amid large-scale violence that left eight persons dead and several dozen others injured.
The constituency had recorded an abysmal 7.13% turnout, the lowest-ever in its history.
The Election Commission had ordered repolling in 38 polling stations in violence-hit areas on April 13.
This will be the third term as Lok Sabha member for Mr. Abdullah, whose victory is being seen as a major setback for the ruling PDP. He was earlier elected to Lok Sabha in 1980 and 2009.
“This vote is for the rejection of the PDP,” Mr. Abdullah said after he was declared winner.
As a mark of respect to the eight youths killed in firing by security forces on April 9, NC workers did not celebrate the win of their party president.
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 last year.