Delhi - NCR

Omar, Mehbooba attend INDI Alliance meeting

Anantnag-Rajouri LS seat discussed threadbare; NC says decision soon, PDP says talks on

SRINAGAR, MARCH 03: Former chief ministers of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir State including National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday attended the crucial meeting of the opposition INDI Alliance in New Delhi.

Sources privy to the development told Morning Kashmir that during the meeting, discussions over the seat-sharing were held threadbare. Although all the seats have been finalized, the Anantnag-Rajouri seat remained the bone of contention of the meeting where PDP and NC—both are reluctant to surrender, they said.

As already reported by this newspaper, both parties are keen to get their share in Kashmir parliamentary seats while Congress is eyeing to field their own candidates from two seats of the Jammu division with the support of NC and PDP. NC wants to contest from all the seats of the Kashmir division. However, the PDP is rigid in its stand to field its candidate, Mehbooba Mufti from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat.

However, sources said that in today’s meeting, the discussion continued for a long time, but the meeting couldn’t end with any conclusive decision.

The ongoing tussle over the distribution of tickets between NC and the PDP particularly in the Anantnag constituency may end with the scheduled INDI Alliance meeting. “Both Omar Abdullah as well as Mehbooba Mufti were asked to attend this meeting. The final call over the candidature of Ms Mufti for Anantnag seat was scheduled to be taken during the confabulations,” sources divulged.

It was informed further that while on one hand, NC has adopted a tough stance vis-à-vis not surrendering the Anantnag seat to PDP and has been planning to field Gujjar leader and former Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad from the seat, the PDP has termed it akin to giving away its stronghold- amounting to party’s political demise if any such idea is fructified.

Reports inform that PDP has expressed its willingness to support its one-time arch-rival National Conference in Srinagar as well as in North Kashmir but has declared its south Kashmir seat as non-negotiable.

National Conference (NC) chief spokesman, Tanvir Sadiq when contacted, said that the decision in this regard will be made public soon. “I cannot comment on the issue, but, yes, the announcement with regard to the party’s decision about pre-poll alliance will be made public soon,” he added.

PDP spokesman, Najam-us-Saqib told Morning Kashmir that the discussion has not been taken yet, but the talks are still going on. “Several rounds of talks are supposed to be held to finalize things. I believe it would take a few days more to come up with a final decision,” he said.

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