With J&K’s four RajyaSabha seats set to go to polls on February 7, independents and legislators belonging to smaller parties are divided on their support to the nominees.
While MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami is set to support Congress leader GhulamNabi Azad, two legislators of the Peoples Conference will be favouring the BharatiyaJanata Party nominees. The other four lawmakers—Hakim Muhammad Yasin, Er Abdur Rashid, Pawan Gupta and Baqir Rizvi—are keeping the cards close to their chest.
The PDP-BJP combine is set to win three of the four seats while the entry of Azad in the electoral arena has thrown a challenge to them on the other seat after the National Conference pledged support to the Congress leader.
Azad would require support of 30 members to get through in case all other 57 members vote in favour of the PDP-BJP candidates on the third and fourth seat.
The PDP and BJP have fielded two candidates each on the four seats as part of their poll understanding.
In a boost to Azad, Tarigami said there is no question of his supporting the PDP-BJP alliance. “I will vote against such a combination,” he said.
He said he is in touch with Hakim Muhammad Yasin and ErAbdur Rashid. “We will take a joint decision within three to four days,” he added.
Yasin too dropped similar hints “We (Me, Tarigami and Rashid) will take a joint decision on the issue shortly,” he said, adding, “We will keep all factors in mind while deciding on the matter.”
MLA LangateEr Rashid, MLA UdhmapurPawan Gupta and MLA ZanskarBqirHussainRizvi are indecisive over the issue .
Rashid said he will side with Tarigami and Yasin’s decision “if it is in the interest of the people of Kashmir.”
He said he has consulted people of his constituency and formed a 10-member committee of locals to take a “final call” on the issue.
MLA UdhampurPawan Gupta refused to comment on the issue.
MLA BaqirHussain Rizvi said he will join hands with the combination “which will form the government.”
The Peoples Conference, which has two legislators in the House, is likely to support the BJP.