NC Wins Both Rajya Sabha Seats From Jammu

13 February 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: With its president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and senior leader Mohammad Shafi Uri declared elected to Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir, the ruling National Conference won both the Rajya Sabha seats which went to polls in Jammu on Friday. The results were announced by Chief Electoral Officer B R Sharma after the counting of votes cast by members of the State Legislative Assembly earlier during the day. Both defeated People’s Democratic Party candidate Altaf Bukhari, who happens to be the party’s treasurer and also a top industrialist of Valley, and a Bharatiya Janata Party backed independent Ashok Vijay Gupta – an advocate. Abdullah got 27 votes including one second preference vote from a BJP legislator, while Shafi Uri polled 25 votes. Significantly, the ruling National Conference and Congress coalition has a total strength of only 44 votes in the State Legislative Assembly which has 87 seats. However, the house’s affective polling strength was only 86 as Farooq, who won from two assembly constituencies, has already resigned from retaining his Sonamarg seat. However, only 85 votes were polled as an independent Ashwani Sharma did not cast his vote. While Altaf Bukhari secured 23 voted including two second preference votes, the independent candidate got 11 votes.