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Victory eludes BJP's Muslim face in Kashmir Valley Hina Bhatt
Tuesday December 23, 2014 7:08 PM, News Network

Even as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) stunned pollsters yet again this time by its spectacular show in the Jammu and Kashmir elections results of which were announced today, it can not assure a victory for Dr. Hina Bhatt - one of its star campaigners who ran the high-pitch campaign for the saffron party in the Kashmir Valley.

Dr. Hina Bhatt
[Union Minister of State for External Affairs and former Army Chief General (Retd.) VK Singh along with Bharitya Janta Party (BJ) candidate Dr. Hina Shafi Bhat from Amira Kadal constituency talking with media persons ahead of the first phase of elections in Jammu and kashmir being on November 25th , in Srinagar. Photo/Mohd Amin War.]

Hina Bhatt (37), a dental surgeon whose father Mohammad Shafi Bhat has been an MP from the National Conference, lost the election to PDP's Altaf Bukhari in Amira Kadal assembly constituency.

While winner Altaf Bukhari polled a total of 11,726 votes, Hina Bhatt could just get 1,359 votes.

During her campaign, she made a string of controversial statements, and also made headlines when she allegedly slapped a presiding officer, Malik Suhail, inside a polling station at Chanapora, on the outskirts of the city, 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.

In November, Hina 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.

Even as her statement created a storm, Bhatt said she has no regrets on what she said, those were her personal views and did not reflect the party line.

"People forget that I have already wielded the biggest weapon, and that is joining the BJP as a Kashmiri at a time when I did. Even today, I am campaigning without any security. How many candidates of other parties would dare do that?", she said.

Her party, the BJP, has always called for abrogation of the article but critics say it has softened its stance because of political expediency.




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