The Narendra Modi wave that was seen in the results of the byelections to 10 seats across eight states recently was absent on Saturday, April 15. BJP-backed Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan lost the Srinagar Lok Sabha byelection to National Conference (NC) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah by a margin of 10,190 votes, while Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) leader Dilli Ram Thapa won the Upper Burtuk Assembly constituency in Sikkim, even as the BJP candidate lost his deposit!
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Farooq Abdullah won the Srinagar Lok Sabha byelection by a margin of 10,190, after the total voter turnout in the entire election — including repolling in 38 polling booths — was a mere 7.13 percent of the total electorate. The main polling day of April 9 was marred by violence, which led to the death of at least eight protesters.
The polling had been necessitated by the resignation of PDP MP Tariq Hameed Karra, and his influence showed in the share of votes polled in Batamaloo. However, the NC held the edge in the other places. For example, Hazratbal and Kangan are traditional strongholds, while Edigah MLA Mubarak Gul was Assembly Speaker, and Budgam is represented by NC through former minister Aga Roohullah.
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As the BJP National Executive Meet started in Bhubaneswar with the saffron party looking to make a push towards the East, it received a jolt in Sikkim. Not only did DR Thapa of the ruling SDF win the Upper Burtuk byelection with 89.17 percent of the votes, but all six of his rivals lost their election deposit!
The jolt was even stronger for Congress candidate Sumitra Rai, who polled only 98 votes, which was less than even the number of people who chose the None Of The Above (NOTA) option: The NOTA option was chosen by 100 people. Rai came in fifth, behind the SDF, the BJP and two Congress candidates.