With just few thousand votes, where does Congress fit in north Kashmir Poll matrix

With just few thousand votes, where does Congress fit in north Kashmir Poll matrix

Srinagar, May 27: It may claim to be one among the strong political forces to reckon with, owing to its impact in certain pockets of the valley, but the recent Lok Sabha election results prove otherwise for the Congress in north Kashmir at least. If these Lok Sabha results were any indication, the grand old National Party – which has enjoyed many terms of power in the state- may find itself wiped out from the electoral map of north Kashmir, come the much awaited assembly polls. The party is believed to have conveyed to high command that it could win more than four seats from the Northern region of the valley which now seems a far off dream and hugely unlikely as on date, given the below par performance it has displayed in these elections.
The party had two assembly segments from north Kashmir including Bandipora and Sopore in the state assembly that was dissolved last year prematurely, besides having a considerable presence in at least three more Constituencies, including Uri, Sangrama and Karnah but the fortunes look to have turned other way for the National Party this time around, putting it virtually on the mat. In some of the Constituencies it hasn’t even been able to secure one thousand votes which indicates its future in the North Kashmir.
In Bandipora Assembly segment, Congress settled at second position securing just 5358 votes which indicates that it is loosing ground to National Conference. In Lolab where from the Party’s LS candidate hails, it came third with National conference and PDP securing more votes than the congress’s local candidate. The National Conference even got more than five thousand votes than the Congress candidate. In nearby Karnah segment the party again came third with 3123 votes, whereas in Kupwara the tally is just 536. In Handwara , it got just 768 votes whereas in Langeth it got 529, Rafiabad 125, Gurez 303, Baramulla 634, Sonawari it got 1714. In three constituencies among which two segments were held by the party in 2008 and 2014 respectively including Uri, Sopore and Sangrama, the party has miserably failed to hold the ground. in Uri, the congress had won in 2002 and 2008 but lost to National conference in 2014. this time too, the anti-incumbency doesn’t seem to have any major effect on NC as Congress is still lagging behind amassing 9,518 votes which is less than what NC secured from here. In Sopore, where the party had won in 2014, the performance has been more miserable as it has been able to get just 542 votes which is less than runner up People’s conference. In Sangrama Constituency where the Party was expecting to gain, the performance has been worst than ever, dashing hopes of any chances of Party’s revival from here. Pertinently the Congress has been on loosing spree from this constituency since 2002. Congress came third here by securing just 1176 votes as compared to 3020 votes of National conference and 1837 of People’s Democratic Party.
The party at least in these elections has ceded its place to Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference and Er. Rashid’s AIP in many of its bastions whereas it has also lost out to National Conference miserably in the Constituencies where it was hoping a revival.
If not publicly, the congress leaders in private conversations with a news agency have admitted that the situation was extremely worrisome and need to be addressed immediately. Many congress leaders say that the outcome was embarrassing but hoped that the party will make a comeback in the coming assembly elections.
Meanwhile Party’s state Chief G.A Mir could not reached for a word despite several attempts by RNA. (RNA)