DDC RE-POLL | Independent wrests Hajin-A for Apni Party

People inside a polling booth in Bandipora. [Representational Image]
People inside a polling booth in Bandipora. [Representational Image] Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Bandipora: Naza Begum, an independent candidate, supported by the J&K Apni Party on Thursday edged out JKPC candidate and an independent supported by NC, by securing 2706 votes to wrest the Hajin-A DDC constituency seat by 423 votes.

The seat went for re-election on December 5 after being cancelled by the State Election Commission (SEC) in 2020 following the participation of a 'non-bonafide' woman candidate from PoK.

Initially, Naza Begum, JKPC candidate Ateeqa Begum, who bagged 2283 votes and the NC-backed independent candidate Aabida Afzal, who secured 2241 votes, were neck and neck. In fact, as Afzal was leading during the preliminary rounds, NC had already geared up to celebrate her victory. However, as the counting moved on to the final rounds, the race was only between JKPC and Apni Party candidates.

JKPC was hopeful for a favourable result but had to eat a humble-pie.

Kulsuma of the BJP and another independent candidate Zahida, did not get past the first round of voting with 387 and 315 votes respectively.

The Apni Party workers began to celebrate as they exited the counting facility in the mini-secretariat Bandipora shortly after the final results were announced. A large number of supporters of Naza garlanded her and took her out in a procession amid slogans.

Naza, while speaking to the media, said that the ongoing development projects in the area would be completed with renewed energy. She extended her gratitude to her supporters and senior party leaders, especially Imtiyaz Parry and Usman Majid for leading the election campaign to ensure her victory.

Following a dispute with the party high command on the issue of mandate, long time NC associate and leader Imtiyaz Parry left it (NC) and joined Apni Party. He is believed to have extensively campaigned for Naza to ensure her win.

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