In the first fully contested election for 30 years in the Indian state of Jammu-Kashmir, the 71 year old Kashmiri leader Shekhi Mohammed Abdullah has led his National Conference Party to victory.
SVs INTERIOR: voting officials counting votes. (5 shots)
SV EXTERIOR: happy supporters of Sheikh Abdullah's successful National Conference Party. (3 shots)
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Background: In the first fully contested election for 30 years in the Indian state of Jammu-Kashmir, the 71 year old Kashmiri leader Shekhi Mohammed Abdullah has led his National Conference Party to victory.
Sheikh Abdullah returned to power as Chief Minister in 1975. For 20 years leadership of his state eluded him but his administration on his return only lasted for two years. In March of this year he resigned after a break with the Congress Party.
SYNOPSIS: The election took place on Sunday (3 July). As the counting of votes progressed it became increasingly apparent that Shekh Abdullah, who is known as 'The Lion of Kashmir, had overcome not only ill health but the powerful opposition of the Janata Party which toppled the long ruling Congress Party of Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
It was a great political triumph for the old leader and was shared by his supporters. No other Kashmiri leader enjoys anything like the prestige of Shekhi Abdullah who has been a hero to the ordinary Kashmiri since the early 1930's when his courageous opposition to the ruling Hindu Maharajah earned him his title. His followers still call themselves 'lions'.