LOK SABHA POLLS|NC, Congress ink seat-sharing pact

Jammu, Udhampur seats go to Congress; Farooq common candidate for Srinagar; ‘Friendly contest’ on Baramulla, Anantnag seats; Discussions on for Ladakh
LOK SABHA POLLS|NC, Congress ink seat-sharing pact
Photo: Mir Imran/ GK

The National Conference and Congress entered into an alliance ahead of the parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

The topleadership of the parties, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Farooq Abdullah,Congress in-charge J&K affairs Ambika Soni, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Nawang RigzinJora and other leaders, met here and told the media persons that the aim of thealliance is to ensure the victory of "either of the two secular parties".

"Wediscussed things openly here in Jammu and came to the conclusion that both theparties have to believe in give and take or else the division of votes willbenefit communal forces," the leadership of the two parties said.

Farooq saidthe parties agreed to give Kathua-Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Poonch seats toCongress, while he will be the joint candidate of Congress and NC from Srinagarseat.

"There willbe a 'friendly contest' on Anantnag and Baramulla, while our discussions are onto contest on similar terms from Ladakh seat," Farooq said.

Ghulam NabiAzad, who is stewarding the poll campaign in the state, said, "At the nationallevel, Dr Farooq and his son, Omar Abdullah attended all the meetings called byAICC president Rahul Gandhi and former AICC president Sonia Gandhi. This showstheir commitment to fight for a common cause.

TheAbdullahs stand shoulder to shoulder to ensure that the people of secularcredentials come at a common platform and unite against a party trying tocreate a wedge between communities to harm the secular fabric of the country."

Azad furthersaid that usually political parties show unity for a common interest at thenational level but differ at the state level.

"But Iappreciate Farooq Abdullah sahib for not changing his stance at the state levelalso. There would have been no other better option than this," Azad said.

Azad saidthat in Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies, there are "one to 1.5lakh voters of both NC and Congress party".

"Had we notentered into an alliance, this division of vote would have benefitted a thirdparty. Thanks to Dr Farooq that he took this bold decision," Azad added.

Azad saidthat both NC and Congress have considerable number of supporters in Anantnagand Baramulla constituencies, where the two could take care of their localturfs without a "cut-throat" contest and also ensure that a third contestantdoes not win.

Azad saidFarooq Abdullah is a strong candidate for the Srinagar parliamentary seat.

"So, all topCongress and NC leaders, including Ambika Soni, Rigzin Jora, GA Mir, OmarAbdullah and other party leaders would jointly campaign for Dr Farooq," Azadsaid.

Later, onthe sidelines of the programme, in reply to a media query about the arrest ofNirav Modi in London and government's plans to extradite him back to thecountry, Azad said, "It was BJP that sent him to London to escape the legaltrial and the same BJP is now planning his arrest just to win elections."

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