4 RS seats go to polls today

4 RS seats go to polls today

The election to four RS seats of J&K—which paved way for PDP and BJP poll alliance—would be held in Jammu from 9 am to 4 pm and the results shall be declared on the same day.

The BharatiyaJanata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party are expecting a clean sweep in the RajyaSabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday even as the senior Congress leader GhulamNabi Azad is fighting a battle for political survival.

The election to four RS seats of J&K—which paved way for PDP and BJP poll alliance—would be held in Jammu from 9 am to 4 pm and the results shall be declared on the same day.

The PDP-BJP combine, as per the seat sharing arrangement, have fielded two candidates each and are confident to win all the four seats, though Congress leader Azad could give a tough fight on one seat.

Azad, who is the joint candidate of Congress-National Conference, is banking on votes of the legislators from the two parties and some legislators from smaller parties. Two MLAs from Kashmir—Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami and Hakeem Muhammad Yasin—have already said they will vote for Azad while Abdur Rashid Sheikh, MLA from Langate, is undecided.

Both BJP and PDP, as also NC and Congress, held rehearsal sessions yesterday to ensure proper voting during the polls.

The National Conference (NC) and Congress—particularly Azad’s loyalists—are busy in hectic lobbying with independent MLAs to ensure Azad’s victory.

Azad, according to sources, has made fervent vote appeal to all independent candidates who can ensure his victory.

“Azad personally rang up every unattached member and sought vote for himself,” they said.

Azad’s fate entirely depends on votes of seven independent/other party candidates.

Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference with two votes has already announced its support to the BJP while independent MLA from Udhampur—the BJP dissident—has publicly declared  to vote for  the parent party.

The lone independent from Zanskar has announced support to the PDP.

According to the present alliance arrangement, PDP’s Fayaz Ahmad Mir who is facing NC candidate SajadKichloo would get 57 votes (28 of PDP, 25 of BJP and four from independents) in the 87-member House and make a conformable entry into RajyaSabha.

Similarly, BJP’s Shamshar Singh Manhas, who is facing NC’s Nasir AslamWani is likely to get 57 votes and comfortably win the second seat, as per the same arrangement.

For election to remaining two seats, if PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Laway gets his party’s 28 votes and one vote of independent from Zanakar, he can win the third seat.

However for the fourth seat, there is neck-to-neck fight between BJP’s Chander Mohan Sharma and Congress’s GhulamNabi Azad.

Sharma would get 28 votes (25 of BJP, two of Peoples Conference and one of the independent from Udhampur).

Azad can get 29 votes (Congress’s 12, NC’s 15 and 2 votes of Tarigami and Yasin if they vote for him).  However, vote from legislator Abdur Rashid Sheikh can prove decisive.