NC-Congress inching closer to ‘coalition pact’ for South Kashmir LS seat

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By KNO on 16/03/2019.

NC-Congress inching closer to ‘coalition pact’ for South Kashmir LS seat

Final announcement soon, leaders of both parties holding thorough deliberations


Srinagar, March 16: Hectic parleys are on between the leadership of National Conference-Congress over entering into the coalition pact for the sensitive south Kashmir Lok Sabha seat, reliable sources in the both parties told KNO on Saturday.

If the coalition for South Kashmir seat works, the two parties may move ahead and apply same model for other five seats as well including the strategic lone seat of Ladakh region.

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The South Kashmir seat is the only LS segment where elections will be held in three-phases given the prevailing fragile security situation and the tensions due to the local militancy factor. “From Congress, it’s going to be none other than the JPCC chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir while from PDP the party has no choice other than its president Mehbooba Mufti,” a senior Congress leader said, wishing not to be named.

The National Conference has no prominent face for South Kashmir where PDP continues to hold grip even at a time when party has faced the internal rebellion.

Though the final decision on entering into a pre-poll alliance is yet to be finalized by the NC and Congress leadership, but the sources revealed that ground-work has been done and the call will be taken shortly. The NC delegation sources said, recently visited Delhi to meeting Congress top gun Ghulam Nabi Azad to discuss the pre-poll alliance for at least south Kashmir Lok Sabha seat.

“The discussion was taken to final conclusion with both the parties agreeing on fielding state congress chief Mir for South Kashmir seat,” a senior NC leader, who was part of parleys, told KNO.

He said that there were talks whether Congress can field Taj Mohiudin from north Kashmir as a joint NC-Congress candidate, but the decision was kept on a hold as NC has zeroed in on former Assembly Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone as its Parliamentary candidate for Baramulla-Kupwara seat.

“The deliberations are on for north Kashmir seat between the two parties and final decision will be announced soon,” a Congress leader said. As far as South Kashmir seat, the state congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir said: “He has been nominated by the party leadership for the seat but whether he would be joint candidate of NC and Congress, he wasn’t sure about that. Whatever the Congress high command would decide, I would abide by that.”

From the PDP side, the party chief Mehbooba Mufti would join the fray against Mir. In 2014 parliamentary polls, Mehbooba bagged the seat but after facing a tough fight from the Congress candidate Hilal Ahmed Shah, who lost with a very thin margin.

Shah may get mandate for Assembly polls from Anantnag seat. In South Kashmir, considered as the bastion of PDP as most of the former legislators of the party belonged to south Kashmir districts out of its total strengthen of legislators that was 28.

However, party recently suffered a dent as of its prominent faces quit it citing “one man rule in the party.” Those who left include Imran Raza Ansari, Abid Ansari, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Peer Hussain and last but not the least, Haseeb Drabu.

A senior PDP leader confirmed that the party would pitch for Mehbooba to be its candidate for south Kashmir seat. “We are sure about her win,” he said, wishing not to be named. Mehbooba has already started her public out-reach to garner peoples’ support once again