Appointment of constituency in-charges

Making the job easier for election time
"The party leaders at that time had stated that it does not necessarily mean that those made the constituency in-charges will be the candidates of the party in the polls." [Representational Image]
"The party leaders at that time had stated that it does not necessarily mean that those made the constituency in-charges will be the candidates of the party in the polls." [Representational Image]File

Giving mandate, or party tickets, to its leaders to contest polls is always a hectic and tricky exercise for political parties, more particularly the major ones. At times wrong selection of candidates leads to losing of elections. But the story does not end here only.

Giving mandate is a case like "Aik Anaar Sau Bimar". You give party ticket to one leader and several others, who too want the mandate, get annoyed. Then sometimes these disgruntled leaders leave their party to join other parties.

Having more than enough time available for the polls, a number of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are trying to make the mandate related exercise easier for themselves this time.

Rather than waiting for the polls to come and then decide about the candidates, some parties nominated their constituency in-charges, while others are in the process of doing so. National Conference made a beginning in a big way in this connection in November last year.

It issued a list of 47 assembly constituency in-charges for Kashmir valley. Barring a few, others are the same who have won or lost the polls from these constituencies.

The party leaders at that time had stated that it does not necessarily mean that those made the constituency in-charges will be the candidates of the party in the polls.

Going by the names in the list it seems that the mandates too will based on it only ,and that there can be slight changes here and there if required. With this exercise NC has given ample time to its candidates to go and reach out to voters and get their support.

PDP too has nominated some of the constituency in-charges and so has the Apni Party. Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has announced that he would contest from a constituency in Srinagar and also from Uri assembly constituency.

In 2014, he had won from Amirakadal constituency on PDP ticket defeating Nasir Aslam Wani (Sogami) of National Conference. Sogami  has been made Kupwara constituency in-charge by his party this time.

Apni Party has senior leaders, who in past have won or lost assembly polls on other parties' tickets mostly PDP. These leaders are expected to contest from their respective constituencies. However, the party will have to look for new faces for other constituencies and is in the process of doing so.

So far as the People's Conference (PC) is concerned, its senior leaders will most likely contest from the same constituencies, wherefrom they had won or lost in last polls. Some senior leaders, who joined PC from other parties too would like to be fielded from their earlier constituencies. For other constituencies, the party too must be busy in its exercise.

A number of leaders from Congress and some other parties had joined the newly formed Democratic Progressive Azad Party ( DPAP) of Ghulam Nabi Azad. So they too will contest from their past constituencies. Azad had recently announced that his party will give chance to youth, so it is in search of candidates among the youth.

Regarding BJP, the party will be having more choice while giving mandates as a number of people have joined it since then. The joining is because of the large scale reach out by senior party leaders to common masses. In last assembly elections the party could not win any seat from Kashmir. It is to be seen how the BJP will perform in next polls.

While PDP has made some constituency in-charges, most senior leaders have quit the during last four years. The party too will have to depend on new faces. The PDP leadership has been engaging with youth for this purpose. Since the exercise is for the coming Panchayat and urban local bodies polls, but it is likely to be extended for the assembly polls as well.

NC by making the list of constituency in-charges public last year had in a way made its intentions clear to contest assembly polls more particularly in Kashmir valley on its own and not to form any pre-poll alliance with any other party.

This was also evident from a statement issued after a party meeting, presided over by Omar Abdullah in Srinagar last year. The statement said, "Provincial Committee members unanimously resolved that JKNC should prepare and fight all 90 seats." Later, when NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah was asked about the statement he said, "Talking such things at this time is pre-mature. Let the election time come then we will take a call whether to form any electoral alliance or not."

But it is no secret that NC cadres want to join the electoral fray solo and not to go for any pre-poll alliance. Even if the NC by compulsion has to go for some kind of seat sharing arrangement to avoid division of votes because of wider participation of parties, that too will be on a small scale.

Abdullah family has kept itself out of the list of constituency in-charges even as party President Dr Farooq Abdullah has been saying he would contest the assembly polls.

But it is to be seen whether  he would really do so since he is a member of parliament right now, and may contest again the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Omar Abdullah has been saying that he would contest assembly polls only after the statehood status is restored to J&K. Dr Farooq Abdullah had asked him to change his decision.

Only time will tell who among the Abdullah family will be NC candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency and who among them will contest assembly polls if at all they contest.

But the senior leadership of every party is seriously busy in poll related preparations and giving mandates well ahead - whether by appointing constituency in-charges or directly going for it.

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