RS polls: NC to support Azad

RS polls: NC to support Azad

The RS polls are scheduled on February 7. January 28 is the last date for filing the nominations.

The National Conference Tuesday decided to join hands with Congress and support the candidature of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in the forthcoming Rajya Sabha polls in the State.

The development comes following the NC working president Omar Abdullah’s meeting with the Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi this evening. Omar, according to sources, assured Sonia of his party’s full support to Azad. The RS polls are scheduled on February 7.

January 28 is the last date for filing the nominations.

The Omar-Sonia meeting, the sources said, lasted for 40 minutes and discussed the strategy for the RS polls.

After the meeting, Omar tweeted that the two parties have "decided to combine forces to file a joint candidate for RS polls in J&K to snatch a seat from the unholy alliance."

Omar, who was camping in Jammu, left for New Delhi this afternoon to meet Sonia.

BJP NOMINATES SHAMSHER, CHANDRA

The BJP nominated its former state unit chief Shamsher Singh Manhas and party veteran Chander Mohan Sharma from Jammu region as its nominees for the RS polls. The latter belongs to RSS family from Jammu with his father and elder brother functioning as senior members of the outfit.

The decision has come as a setback to BJP veteran and former MLA Ashok Khajuria and former president of High Court Bar Association Sunil Sethi who joined the BJP just before the Lok Sabha elections in May last year.

The PDP has already announced its candidates for the two seats. The combined strength of the PDP-BJP can help the parties make a clean sweep on all the four seats in case there is no alliance between NC and Congress.

The PDP has 28 while BJP 25 MLAs in the 87-member House.

The other combination could be between Congress and National Conference. The former has 12 Members while NC 15.


KICHLOO, NASIR COLLECT FORMS  

While the National Conference and Congress alliance in Rajya Sabha polls seemed in sight during the day, both the parties collected four nomination forms—two each—from the Returning Officer.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, RO, Muhammad Ramzan said NC and Congress collected four forms from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat.

From National Conference Sajjad Kichloo and Nasir Aslam Wani collected the nomination forms while Congress’s Member of Legislative Council Naresh Gupta obtained these “for Ghulam Nabi Azad.”

Naresh Gupta admitted he collected two forms for Azad.

Azad, who retires as RS member on February 10, has chances of  retaining  the seat in case of a support from National Conference and three independents.

Azad, according to sources, arrived in Jammu this afternoon.

MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami said he along with MLA Er Rashid and MLA Hakim Muhammad Yasin “will take a joint decision over the polls.” He, however, said “we are committed to vote against BJP-PDP combine.”

Rashid echoed the same view. “We will take a joint decision,” he said.

Asked whether he is mulling to abstain from voting, he said: “I am yet to take any decision on the polls.”

MLA Khansahab Hakim Muhamamad Yasin refused to comment. “I am busy this time,” he said.