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Farooq fried, cloud on son

Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, May 16: Farooq Abdullah has lost from Srinagar, sparking fears about the fate of his son and chief minister Omar Abdullah who faces polls in Jammu and Kashmir later this year.

Farooq, 77, was humbled as the National Conference (NC) candidate by a former assistant, Tariq Hameed Karra of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which won all three Lok Sabha seats in the Valley.

The loss to Karra, who won by over 30,000 votes, is big blow to Farooq, a three-time chief minister and a two-time MP who had never lost an election in the state. He is a Union minister in the outgoing UPA. The NC had never lost Srinagar except in 1995 at the height of militancy.

Today, Omar conceded defeat and did not rule out quitting. “Should I continue or not is a question I am still grappling with. This is my defeat more than anybody else’s and I will not sugarcoat that. Does the alliance or my party need me to fall on my sword to recover from here is something my party can decide. If they want, I will have no hesitation.”

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti termed the results “a moment of glory”.