JK Witnessing Realignment Of Forces Ahead Of LC Polls

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JAMMU: Amid hectic lobbying for nominations by candidates across the political spectrum, the state is witnessing new political alignments with opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Panther’s Party (PP) all set to come together in the elections for 8 seats of the Legislative Council scheduled for March 7.

While rejecting possibility of any understanding with National Conference, Congress and the BJP, the Panther Party patron Bhim Singh today said rest of the opposition parties will do everything to try and defeat candidates of the three parties.

“We will want opposition candidates to win at all costs. If the PDP candidates are seen to be wining, we will have no hesitation in supporting them. Same holds true for them (PDP) where our candidates are expected to win. They have supported us in past and we will make sure we help them in winning”, Bhim Singh said while talking to KNS from New Delhi. He said they would not allow division of votes and that they have no differences with PDP as far as the LC elections are concerned.

When asked whether he was scheduled to meet PDP patron Mufti Muhammd Sayeed to discuss modalities of the arrangement, he said, “There is no need to meet in modern times as people can talk on phone. Opposition parties always remain in contact and Mufti Sahib being my friend, we can talk anytime”. As a result of this arrangement, the PDP is all set to win two seats, one each from Jammu and Kashmir provinces.

Meanwhile, Secretary State Legislative Council, M Ramzan said no candidates have filed their nominations till date. “Forms were issued to almost all the parties, however, none of the forms has been received yet”, he said.

Meanwhile, hectic lobbying for the eight seats of Legislative Council (LC) going to polls on March 7 has reached its peak with aspirants from state Congress camping in New Delhi to seek favors from the party top leaders, while the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have almost finalized names of their candidates.

According to reliable sources, the party will finalize its nominations after the Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad arrives here on Sunday.

However, when contacted, JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz said the candidates for the polls will be finalized after a meeting with the high command in New Delhi.

If sources are to be believed re-election of Rana on NC’s mandate from Jammu seat was sure and party was also considering its spokesperson Taveer Sadiq for Valley seat

PDP, sources said Party has almost zeroed in its spokesman Naeem Akhtar. However, the party is believed to have yet to finalize the names for a seat in Jammu.

MLCs whose term is expiring on March 16, include Devender Singh Rana and MY Taing of NC, RS Chib, Muhammad Amin Bhat, Naresh Gupta and Ali Muhammad Bhat of Congress and Murtaza Khan and Nizam-Din-Khatana of PDP.

All the eight LC seats falling vacant in March are to be filled up through polls for which votes are to be cast by the designated Electoral College.

Out of the total strength of 36 members only two seats, reserved for Urban Local Bodies, are presently vacant. NC has the highest number of 15 members, followed by Congress with 14, PDP 4 and JKNPP one member in the Upper House.

Officials said that all the seats falling vacant were to be filled through elections. While four seats each in Kashmir and Jammu regions were falling vacant, one of the seats in Jammu region is reserved for Doda district. (KNS)

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