NC,Congress making 'hectic efforts' to mark presence in RS

Greater Kashmir

Leaders hold meetings to retain at least one seat

Jammu, Jan 19: After facing a humiliating defeat in the recently-held Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference and Congress are now making hectic efforts to mark their presence in the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled to be held next month, Greater Kashmir has learnt.
According to sources, secret meetings are on between the leaders of Congress and National Conference—and some independent candidates—to “reach a winning figure” and secure at least one seat in the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled on February 7. However, no party has yet nominated a candidate for the elections.
“Several marathon meetings have been held between leaders of NC, Congress and independent candidates to reach a situation where they can at least bag one seat in the RS polls and maintain their presence in the state politics,” sources said. Earlier, of the total four seats in Rajya Sabha, the NC and Congress shared two each. G N Ratanpuri and Muhammad Shafi from NC represented the state in Rajya Sabha while Ghulam Nabi Azad and Prof Saif-u-Din Soz of Congress shared two other seats.
The six-year tenure of all four the Rajya Sabha MPs from Jammu and Kashmir will end in February.
“As Congress has already lost its ground in the state in the Assembly elections, the Rajya Sabha could be a medium for it to maintain its presence,” said a senior Congress leader.
On winning equations in Rajya Sabha, sources said Congress with 12 seats, NC with 15 and other independent candidates can collectively form a number that can help them retain at least one seat. “If they unite, they can retain at least one seat in the Raja Sabha. Otherwise they cannot win any seat,” they said.
National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said he cannot confirm any development with regard to RS polls for now. Congress leader Ravinder Sharma also refused to comment on the issue.