Battle lines drawn for December 3 LC polls

37 Candidates In Fray; Congress

Factionalism May Throw A Surprise

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Nov 19: With Monday being the last day for withdrawal of nominations for the four seats of Legislative Council, battle lines are now clearly drawn for the polls with neither the ruling coalition nor the opposition being sure of the outcome. Three candidates withdrew their names today, besides rejection of one candidature, putting the number of contestants at 37.
 Political analysts predict direct fight between Ali Muhammad Dar of National Conference and Peer Hussain of Peoples Democratic Party on K-1 seat. PDP is expected to give a tough fight to the ruling coalition going by their strength in rural Kashmir.
 “While NC has 13 legislators in rural Kashmir including Ladakh, Peoples Democratic Party has 19 legislators in rural Kashmir. And the biggest worry for NC is that there are only 10 Sarpanch Halqas in Srinagar where it made clean sweep in 2008 Assembly elections by bagging all eight seats,” an analyst said.
 NC is expecting full support from Congress pockets like Uri whose legislator and Minister for PHE and Flood Control, Taj Mohiuddin, was ‘bailed out’ by the party from the controversy over alleged occupation of forest land.
 But more interesting contest to watch in Kashmir province would be on K-2 seat where Ghulam Nabi Monga of Congress would be battling with Yasir Reshi of Peoples Democratic Party.
 Monga has been unlucky twice to make it to the Upper House. In 2008, he lost to Vijay Bakaya. Last year, Monga had to withdraw his nomination at the eleventh hour after National Conference refused to surrender the seat to its ally.
 According to analysts, the dissidence within Congress would be the biggest worry for the coalition to get through Monga.
 “The fallout of fresh differences within Congress factions divided between Prof Saifuddin Soz and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to be witnessed on this seat,” they said, adding that lack of coordination between NC and Congress leaders on the ground could also complicate the matters.
 Meanwhile, Jammu is set to witness triangular fight on both the seats i.e, J-1 and J-2.
 “On both the seats, the candidates of NC-Congress, BJP and PDP would be locked in a straight fight,” they said.
 Observers believe it would be interesting to see how many votes candidates fielded by Panthers Party, Peoples Conference and Er. Rashid would fetch.
 Today three candidates withdrew their names from the poll fray of two seats in Jammu region. Nomination of one candidate was rejected by returning officer and now the total candidates left in the fray are 21 in Jammu.
 Sources in the office of Divisional Commissioner Jammu informed that Ved Parkash of Peoples Democratic Party, who was covering candidate in J-1 seat, has withdrawn his name while an independent candidate Fazal Hussian also withdrew his name. Now the total number of candidates left in the poll fray for J-1 seat is 14.
 In J-2 segment, the nomination of Parbakar Singh of PDP, who was also a covering candidate, was rejected as he had not withdrawn his nomination. An independent candidate Rajinder Kumar Sharma has also withdrawn his name from J-2 seat. Now the number of candidates who will contest the J-2 seat is 7.
 In Kashmir province, nine candidates are in the race for K-1 seat, while seven others will fight on K-2 seat.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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