12 nominations filed for Legislative Council polls

Revolt In Congress, PDP To Back Dudha


Jammu/Srinagar, Feb 18: While six coalition candidates filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Legislative Council (LC) polls, serious differences cropped-up in state unit of the Congress as one of its “disgruntled” leaders filed nomination papers without the party’s consent.
At the same time, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a calibrated move, backed a Kashmiri Pandit candidate besides fielding two of its own candidates— one each from Kashmir and Jammu.
According to official sources, 12 candidates filed their nomination papers for eight seats of the Upper House falling vacant on March 16. The polls are slated for March 7 and the results would be declared the same day.
From Kashmir, NC fielded Abdul Majeed Bhat of Wanpoh (Anantnag) and Showkat Ganai of Wachi (Shopian) while Devender Singh Rana has been repeated from Jammu.
The NC candidates were accompanied by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather and many senior NC ministers and functionaries at the time of filing of nominations.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Rana, who is also the NC provincial president for Jammu region, said he was grateful to the party leadership for reposing faith in him.
“I want to work towards strengthening the party and serve the people of the state,” he said.
From the Congress camp, Muhammad Muzaffar Parray, one of the close aides of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Prof Saifuddin Soz, filed nomination papers from Kashmir. Sources said Parray’s candidature was opposed by many leaders belonging to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s lobby. “There was a stiff opposition against Parray. Many people opposed his name on the pretext that the party had already given MLC ticket to Ghulam Nabi Monga, who hails from Baramulla and it can’t nominate another person from the same district,” a Congress source said.  He, however, said Parray followed Soz’s direction and filed his nomination papers amid resistance.
However, differences surfaced in the State unit of Congress, when Muhammad Amin Bhat, whose term as Congress MLC expired on February 16, filed his nomination papers without party’s consent. “Bhat has filed his nomination papers,” confirmed Secretary Legislative Assembly Muhammad Ramzan.
PCC chief, however, said he (Bhat) had no mandate from the party. “I didn’t sign on his papers,” Soz said. From Jammu, the party has cleared Naresh Gupta from Doda and Rani Bloeria from Jammu. Both Gupta and Bloeria also filed their nomination papers.
As for the main opposition PDP, Naeem Akthar and Yashpal Sharma filed their nomination papers from Kashmir and Jammu respectively. The PDP, in a politically crafted move, has decided to back a Pandit candidate from Kashmir. “We will be backing Shuban Krishen Dudha from Kashmir,” a source in the PDP said. “He will contest independently with our support.”
The Secretary Legislative Assembly said he has received 12 nominations. “Apart from eight candidates finalised by NC, Congress and PDP, I received separate nominations from Muhammad Amin Bhat, Shuban Krishen Dudha, Muhammad Iqbal (from Doda) and Sardar Kalu Khan. The scrutiny of the nomination papers will be conducted on February 19,” he said.
Sources said Iqbal is believed to be National Panthers Party candidate from Doda.
On whether a candidate affiliated to a party can file nominations without party’s consent, Ramzan said: “Things will be clear only after papers are scrutinized.”
He said for a candidate from Kashmir needs at least 18 votes to win while Doda candidate needs 45 votes to sail through. “A Jammu candidate needs 23 votes to bag the seats,” Ramzan said.  He said it was not yet clear whether the polling would take place through “open or a secret ballot.”
Secretary Legislative Assembly is the returning officer for the Biennial Elections to the Legislative Council.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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