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Jammu KashmirPDP and NC to contest separately in Kashmir for first time, trading...

PDP and NC to contest separately in Kashmir for first time, trading blame over seat sharing disagreement


Srinagar, Apr 3: and 's two key opposition parties, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Conference (NC), have decided to contest the upcoming in Kashmir independently after failing to reach an agreement over seat sharing. Both parties, who were allies in the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), have accused each other of going back on their commitments.

Mehbooba Mufti's PDP has announced that it will field candidates on all three Lok Sabha seats in the Kashmir valley, saying the NC left them no choice. NC vice-president Omar Abdullah hit back, claiming the PDP was not sticking to the understanding reached for the 2020 District Development Council elections, where candidates from winning parties would contest.

Mufti said with youth in jails and no freedom of speech in the UT post the abrogation of Article 370, it was important for the parties to remain united. However, she expressed disappointment with the NC leadership for unilaterally deciding to contest all three valley seats without consultation. Abdullah maintained the NC sticking to the same formula applied in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls where they had won all three Kashmir seats.

The fallout could impact the future prospects of the PAGD alliance as well. While Omar said the door was still open for assembly polls, Mufti hinted she may no longer want an alliance if the NC attitude did not change. Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's decision to jump into the fray from Anantnag also came as a surprise to the NC.

With the key opposition groups in J&K set to face off for the first time, the coming elections could see a new political dynamic unfolding in the restive region.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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