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Jammu KashmirPDP names candidates for 3 Valley seats, fields Mehbooba against Azad in...

PDP names candidates for 3 Valley seats, fields Mehbooba against Azad in Anantnag

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SRINAGAR, Apr 7: Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti will contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat against DPAP president Ghulam Nabi Azad, making the newly carved out constituency the most high-profile contest in and in these elections.

The National Conference has fielded influential Gujjar leader Mian Altaf Ahmad from the seat and the Apni Party has named Zaffar Iqbal Manhas. The BJP has not announced its candidate so far.

PDP Parliamentary Board Chief Sartaj Madni on Sunday announced the party candidates for the three seats of Kashmir. The party's youth wing president Waheed Parra will contest the polls from Srinagar and former Rajya Sabha member Mir Fayaz from Baramulla.

The candidates were announced by the party at a press conference addressed by Mufti and Madni. They said the PDP will support the Congress on two Jammu region seats of Udhampur and Jammu.

Asked if the Congress will reciprocate in Kashmir, the PDP president said she was not extending support to the national party on quid pro quo basis. “We have decided to support the Congress for the larger fight to save the Constitution and democracy.” “But I would appeal to not only Congress workers but NC workers also to support me so that we can take the voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to Parliament,” she said.

“My appeal to all people of the constituency — from Anantnag to Rajouri and Poonch — is to come together as we are passing through a critical stage. People cannot talk. Talking has become a crime. If someone raises voice, he is labelled as anti-national,” she added.

On her party contesting against INDI Alliance partner National Conference, Mufti said she had left the ball in NC president Farooq Abdullah's court.

“We had left the decision to Farooq Abdullah. We would not mind even if they had contested all the seats but they should have at least consulted us. They should not have demeaned our party and workers by saying they will see our behaviour in Lok Sabha polls before deciding on alliance for Assembly elections,” she said.

In response to a question, the PDP president said her party's manifesto will take the genuine voices of people to Delhi. She alleged that the Centre was using all its might against her in the south Kashmir constituency.

“Delhi is pushing all might into the south Kashmir constituency. They have directly put up some candidates and some others indirectly. I have been a fighter all along and I decided to take on the challenge,” she said.

Asked about BJP leader Tarun Chugh meeting People's Conference president Sajad Gani Lone and Apni party founder Altaf Bukhari on Saturday, Mufti in a cryptic response said “you have not counted Azad Sahib”.

“Democracy is a battle of ideas and people decide. I don't have any personal issues with them, ” she said.

On the Congress party's manifesto, the former chief minister said this was the best manifesto in the past 70 years. “It does not talk about 2 crore but 30 lakh jobs only. It does not have jumlas but achievable goals.” Asked if she will campaign for the bloc outside Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP president said she cannot do it. “We could not strengthen the alliance here in Jammu and Kashmir which is in such terrible situation. What will I say to people in other places?” she said.

Mufti has contested Lol sabha elections three times earlier and won twice — in 2004 and 2014. Her only electoral defeat came at the hands of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in the 1999 general elections.

Northlines
Northlines
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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