Lok Sabha polls: South Kashmir braces up for triangular contest

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By KNO on 27/03/2019.

Lok Sabha polls: South Kashmir braces up for triangular contest

NC, PDP, Congress to give tough fight to each other, polls litmus test for PDP chief

Srinagar, March 27: Even as all the three Lok Saba seats are going to witness the tough contest, but the major highlight of is going to be south Kashmir parliamentary seat that is all set to witness triangular contest between National Conference, PDP and the Congress.

Even though the Congress is yet to announce the name of its candidate, but reliable sources told KNO, that the party is all set to field its State chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir. “The final decision will be taken in a week or so,” the sources revealed.

Talking exclusively to KNO, Mir said the three names have been sent to the Central Election Committee of Congress in New Delhi. “The final decision is expected within a few days,” Mir said.

The NC has fielded (Rtd) justice Hasnain Masoodi while PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti will again contest from South Kashmir. In 2014 elections, she had emerged victorious but this time, sources said that Mehbooba was facing anti-incumbency factor.

The five-phased Lok Sabha polls are commencing from April 11 while as South Kashmir is the only Lok  Sabha seat where elections will be held in three phases, first time in the election history of Jammu and Kashmir and the reasons cited by the Election Commission of India is none other than the “security concerns.”

The police have already issued an advisory to the political parties and their candidates barring the road shows and that allowing political conventions only after proper security clearance from the respective deputy commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs).

This signifies the gravity of the situation on ground though police and other security agencies have already decided to put in place a fool-proof security for the smooth and incident free polls.

South Kashmir Lok Sabha segment comprises of Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag districts, and all these districts are militancy infested. The political activities, have, however started picking up in Kashmir but what remains to be seen is whether the three  major political parties in Kashmir—NC, Congress and PDP would hold political rallies or would confine their activities to close door political meetings only.

A senior National Conference leader said that it was beyond doubt that the South Kashmir Lok Sabha seat would witness toughest fight among the three seats, but “they would try their best to pocket the seat.”

“The agenda of NC is clear and visible to all. We are hopeful that we will win the seat,” he said. “We have fielded our best candidate who is known for his honesty and credibility and we are sure that he will win.”

Sources in the PDP said that Mehbooba is set to “repeat the history” albeit contest was tougher than what it was in 2014. “She will sail through,” sources in PDP revealed.

PDP has been facing internal wrangling ever since BJP withdrew its support from the party plunging the state into Governor’s rule last year and later into presidential rule. “What remains to be seen is whether PDP chief would be able tor retain the South Kashmir forte,” the sources said.