BJP’s Hina Bhat Loses in Amirakadal
SRINAGAR: The BJP lost one of its big hopes in Jammu and Kashmir as the party’s Hina Bhat lost in the high profile Amirakadal constituency.Ms Bhatt, 37, lost to Altaf Bukhari of the People’s Democratic Party.
During her campaign, she made a string of controversial statements.In November, Ms Bhat said she would be the “first to pick up a gun” if Article 370 of the Constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, were to be scrapped. Her party, the BJP, has always called for abrogation of the article but critics say it has softened its stance because of political expediency.
“I don’t regret my statement. I don’t regret anything that I said,” Ms Bhat told Reporters today.
She also slapped a polling officer during voting, alleging massive rigging in the constituency, and warned that the “rigged polling will give birth to another Salahuddin”. Syed Salahuddin – born Mohammed Yusuf Shah – was the candidate of the Muslim United Front for Amirakadal in the 1987 elections. Separatist leader Yasin Malik was his polling agent.
Salahuddin lost the election to a National Conference candidate Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah amid allegations of rigging. Salahuddin was said to have been jailed following his vociferous protests and after his release, he joined the Hizbul Mujahideen and went on to become one of the most wanted militants in Kashmir.
Hina Bhat’s father Mohammad Shafi Bhat represented the Amirakadal constituency in 1996 and was MP from the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency as a National Conference candidate