PDP at its lowest ebb as party manages lead in only 5 out of 54 assembly segments

PDP at its lowest ebb as party manages lead in only 5 out of 54 assembly segments

 

Srinagar, June 6 : Once a dominant political force, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now finds itself at its lowest ebb in Kashmir.

In the just concluded Lok Sabha election, the party not only failed to secure any seats, it managed a lead in only five out of 54 assembly segments across Kashmir districts and in Poonch Rajouri- which now also form part of Anantnag Parliament constituency.

The first election following the abrogation of Article 370 was crucial for the PDP’s potential revival. Over the past five years, the party has witnessed the departure of several key leaders, which has severely weakened its position.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti suffered a massive defeat in the Anantnag Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, losing to National Conference veteran Gujjar leader Mian Altaf by nearly three lakh votes.

The results showed that Mufti’s extensive campaign in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat yielded limited success, with her leading in only three assembly segments of south Kashmir, an area once considered a stronghold for the party.

As per Election Commission of India figures, Mehbooba led in the three assembly segments- Anantnag, Anantnag West, and Srigufwara-Bijbehara- but trailed behind Mian Altaf in the remaining segments.

In three segments in south Kashmir, National Conference led clearly because of Congress support and in one segment because of CPI(M) leader Y Tarigami. The constituency comprises of a total of 18 assembly segments.

While Mehbooba Mufti has been vociferously criticizing the Centre’s jackboot tactics over the last few years, it seems that people have yet not forgiven PDP for its past alliance with BJP,” said a political observer.

In the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, PDP youth leader Waheed Parra lost to NC leader Aga Ruhullah, managing to lead in only two assembly segments. Parra, who polled 1,68,450 votes, led in the Pulwama and Rajpora assembly constituencies out of 18 segments which are part of Srinagar seat.

The PDP’s performance was particularly dismal in north Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, where the party’s candidate Mir Fayaz lost his security deposit, garnering only 27,488 votes.

“This election outcome marks a significant setback for the PDP, reflecting the party’s struggle to regain its footing in Kashmir’s political landscape,” the political observer said, adding, “ these polls will surely have an impact in the upcoming Assembly polls.”

PDP senior leader Naeem Akhtar, also a close aide of Mehbooba termed the poll results as worrying for the party.

“It is worrying of course. We will have to see what went so wrong when it came to converting our goodwill into votes,” he said. “ One reason is the coordination deficit at organisational level post the desertions engineered by BJP government. Will have to fix that and some other issues.”

PDP was formed in 1999 by Mehbooba Mufti’s father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed after leaving the Congress. The party formed the government along with the Congress in 2003 and later, in 2015, with the Bharatiya Janta Party. After the scrapping of J&K’s special status in August 2019, many of the founding members have left the PDP.

UNI

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