Azad to chair crucial Congress meeting on election strategy in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee will be holding a crucial meeting of the Election Management Committee in Jammu on Saturday to discuss the party’s strategy for the Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting will be chaired by former J&K chief minister and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad. “Election strategy of the party will be discussed at the meeting,” Congress senior vice-president G N Monga told the Greater Kashmir.

Apart from Azad, Monga said, the meeting would be attended by other members that include state Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, former minister Nawang Rigzin Zora, former MP Tariq Hamid Karra, former union minister Saifuddin Soz, former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, former MP Madanlal Sharma, former state minister G. M. Saroori and Asgar Ali Karbalai.

Last week Congress appointed Azad as chairman of the Campaign and Election Management Committee (CEMC) for Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources in Congress said that during the meeting dates of starting election campaign in Kashmir and Jammu will be decided. “The party will hold election rallies across the states and dates will be fixed during the meeting,” sources said.

During the last Lok Sabha elections, the then Omar Abdullah-led ruling coalition in the state was decimated with Peoples Democratic Party and BJP sharing the six parliament seats in the state.

Sources said that JKPCC has also sent a panel of names to the party high command which will decide the party candidates from the state. The names are Madan Lal Sharma, Raman Bala, Vikram Aditya, R S Chib, G N Monga, Tariq Hamid Karra, G M Mir, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed and Saifuddin Soz.

Sources added that talks were going on about stitching up a seat-sharing arrangement for the six Lok Sabha constituencies in the state between Congress and National Conference. “The discussions were going on at the leadership level to work out an arrangement of 50-50 seat sharing in the parliamentary elections,” said one of the Congress leaders. “Nothing has come out as yet, but the decision would be taken soon.”

The senior leaders of the two parties, which had coalition arrangements in the past as well, have been in touch with each other for quite some time.