Political Activity Heats Up Ahead of LC Polls

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Third front leaders meet; decide to field common candidates

SRINAGAR – Elections to the 4 seats of state legislative council reserved for the panchayat members of the state has sparked renewed activity among different political parties with major political players putting their heads together to grab a major share.

The issue of chalking out a joint strategy for fighting the elections by the two coalition partners in the state government is expected to be on top of the agenda during the Coalition Coordination Committee (CCC) meeting scheduled for Monday in Jammu.

State Congress Chief, Saifuddin Soz Saturday confirmed to KNS that the issue of deciding a joint strategy for fighting the Legislative Council elections will be discussed during the meet. He said discussions on conducting the Block Development Council (BDC) elections will also be held during the meeting.

The CCC meeting is being held on Monday at 10 am in Jammu, the Congress Chief said. Pertinently the CCC comprises six members headed by Soz, with three other members from the National Conference and two from the Congress.

Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and Minister for Health and Family Welfare Sham Lal Sharma are the two other members from the Congress while as Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan are the members from the National Conference.

Reliable sources told KNS that the Congress is keen on fighting one of the two MLC seats reserved for Kashmir region while as the National Conference is adamant on fighting both the seats from Kashmir, leaving the other two seats in Jammu region for the state Congress.

“The issue is going to be the bone of contention during the upcoming CCC meeting as the National Conference is reluctant to leave one the two valley seats for Congress”, the sources added.

Meanwhile, the People Democratic Party (PDP) patron, Mufti Muhamamd Syed Saturday convened a meeting of the party core group at his residence to discuss the party’s strategy for contesting the Legislative Council elections, sources said. They told KNS that the PDP is contemplating to contest from all the four seats including the two seats in Jammu region.

In another interesting turn of events, the much talked about third front in the state politics is also fielding its candidates for the LC seats to be voted for by around 33000 panchayat members across the state.

Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman, Hakim Yasin told KNS that the parties in the third front will field their candidates for fighting the elections.

“We will fight the elections and filed common candidates with the 2014 elections in view. We will not repeat our mistakes”, Yasin said.

Pertinently, he had earlier rued the fact that the smaller parties did not contest the 2008 elections jointly, calling it a historical blunder.

According to sources PDF Chairman Hakim Yasin, CPI (M) state secretary M Y Tarigami and DPN President and Agriculture Minister Gulam Hassan Mir Friday held a meeting to discuss the issue of fighting the elections jointly.

“They have decided to contest the elections on their own”, the sources said.

Political activities, across the spectrum are heating up at different levels with the parties trying to grab maximum vote share from among the panchs and sarpanchs.

In this context, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar and senior Vice President of the Congress Party, Gh Nabi Monga today met at the former’s residence to discuss various issues including BDC and MLC elections.

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