Millennium Post

RS polls: PDP-BJP bag 3, Azad scrapes through

Aided by Communist Party of India (Marxist) and two independent MLAs, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was on Saturday elected to Rajya Sabha while Peoples Democratic Party and Bharatiya Janata Party secured three out of the four seats in the elections held to the Upper House in Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad who was a joint candidate of Congress-National Conference alliance required three additional votes apart from the combined strength of 27 seats of the two parties to scrape through and that he managed to do with the help of M Y Tarigami of CPI(M) and independent MLAs Hakeem Yasin and Engineer Rashid.

Besides Azad, the two PDP candidates Fayaz Ahmed Mir and Nazir Ahmad Laway and BJP’s Shamsher Singh Manhas have been declared winners in the elections. Azad’s victory meant that another BJP candidate Chander Mohan Sharma tasted defeat polling 28 votes against 30 of the Congress leader. Laway secured 29 votes.

Engineer Rashid said, “Azad is a lesser evil than BJP and PDP. Congress MLA’s have accepted that I was right on the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru. Congress in written undertaking has accepted that hanging of Guru was wrong. So I have decided to vote for Azad”. Tarigami and Yasin had earlier told reporters that they would vote for Azad terming PDP-BJP as “unholy” alliance.
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