SRINAGAR: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday announced the candidature of veteran journalist Zafar Meraj from Habba Kadal constituency for the upcoming state assembly polls.
Meraj will take on National Conference's candidate and incumbent MLA Shamima Firdous in the constituency, which has generally witnessed low voter turnout since the eruption of militancy in the state.
The constituency goes to polls Dec 14 in the fourth phase of the five-phased elections.
Habba Kadal has a sizable (16,000) registered Pandit migrant voters, who can be the deciding factor and is one of the five valley constituencies where BJP considers it has a significant chance of winning.
The BJP has fielded Moti Koul, himself a Kashmiri Pandit migrant, from Habba Kadal.
With Meraj throwing his hat into the electoral ring, the contest is going to be triangular between NC, BJP, and the PDP here.
Meraj, editor-in-chief of local English daily 'Kashmir Monitor', has served various news organisations over last three decades.
Meraj belongs to a well known business family of Zaina Kadal area of old city and has been close to Mufti family ever since they founded PDP in mid nineties.
Meraj is nephew of late Shameem Ahmad Shameem, a firebrand orator, journalist and former parliamentarian.
Meraj survived an assassination attempt in late 1990s by a group of counter insurgents who shot him on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road and gave him up for dead.
Critically wounded, Meraj had stopped a truck on the highway that took him to the hospital in Srinagar even as he bled with multiple bullet injuries.
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