Engineer Rashid Triumphs: A Clear Message to Delhi on Kashmiri Sentiment

Engineer Rashid Triumphs: A Clear Message to Delhi on Kashmiri Sentiment

Ladakh rejects BJP amid 6th schedule demand

  • Rejecting the Congress and BJP candidates, voters have elected NC rebel and Independent candidate Haji Hanifa Jan from the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat
  • Hanifa, who was vocal for implementation of the Sixth Schedule in Ladakh, won from the seat in the first ever Lok Sabha election held here after the region became a separate UT in 2019
  • Sajjad Kargili, a member of the Kargil Democratic Alliance, said: “Ladakhis have voted against the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of J&K.”

As the counting of votes began on Tuesday morning for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, jailed Independent candidate Engineer Rashid took an early lead, leaving former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah trailing.

Omar, clad in running gear and working out at the Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar, initially dismissed Rashid’s early lead, advising reporters to wait for more rounds of counting. However, as time passed and Rashid’s lead continued to grow, Omar ultimately accepted defeat.

“I think it’s time to accept the inevitable. Congratulations to Engineer Rashid for his victory in Baramulla,” Omar posted on X in the afternoon, even as counting was still underway. He added that the voters had spoken, and, in a democracy, that was all that mattered.

Voters will not tolerate ill-treatment

Kashmiris have decided to respond through their votes. The complete rout of BJP from Kashmir and Ladakh tells that people are fed up with their policies and will not tolerate being mistreated. Naeem Akhtar, pdp leader

The NC vice-president added that initially, his fight was against Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, and it was easy to oppose him. “But when Engineer Rashid entered the contest, fighting against him became difficult. The sentiment in his favour was so strong that our mothers and sisters voted for his release, making it a tough fight,” Omar said.

Ahead of the abrogation of Article 370, Rashid, a two-time MLA from the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP), was arrested by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Accused of receiving funds from Pakistan for separatist activities — charges he has denied — Rashid’s campaign still managed to shake the political landscape. His victory now introduces a new dimension in Kashmir politics.

Abrar Rashid, 23, who extensively campaigned for his father, chanting “jail ka badla vote se, Tihar ka badla vote se,” (Avenge imprisonment with votes, avenge Tihar with votes) is hopeful of the release of his father. He also laid thrust on the empowerment of youth. “I believe that if there is anyone who can bring change in society, it is the youth. Other political parties should recognise that Kashmiri youth should not be exploited and must be given dignity, safety and peace,” he said.

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