Assembly polls: PDP to put best bet for Srinagar seats, Mufti emerges as CM candidate

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2014 18:45 IST

Riding high on the recent success in the parliamentary polls, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to have renewed its focus on eight crucial seats of Srinagar, where it has never won any assembly seat before.

Chairing the meeting of the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on Monday, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who has emerged as a chief minister candidate, has zeroed in on faces for Srinagar seats.

Shia influential leader Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari's son Imran Ansari is likely to contest from Shia majority area of Zadibal, while former government employees' union leader Khurshid Alam will take on ruling National Conference's stalwart Ali Muhammad Sagar from Khanyar constituency.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah's uncle Mustafa Kamal, who represents Hazratbal constituency right now, may face Asiya Naqash from Hazratbal, while well-known economist and former Jammu and Kashmir Bank chairman Haseeb Drabu will contest from Amira Kadal constituency.

The party is likely to repeat most MLAs for the upcoming assembly polls in north and south Kashmir and may have to make hard choices for some seats where they have to pick from a number of big names.

"The PAC recorded the contribution of all contenders for the party mandate and the obvious inability to accommodate all of them should not shut doors on their growth within the party," said a party spokesman.
According to the figure of the parliamentary polls, the PDP is leading in five assembly segments in Srinagar and will try to maintain the lead.

"The renewed and broad based faith of the people earned by the party had not only made it the premier political party of the state but has added to its challenges in view of the difficult situation created by the present coalition," Mufti said during the PAC meeting.

The PDP, which won three parliamentary seats and leads from 41 assembly segments out of 87, has asked its leaders and workers not to grow complacent.

"The PDP is headed for victory in the assembly elections as well but the LS election results should not lead to complacency," Mufti told the party leaders at the crucial meeting.

The PDP is strategising to emerge as a single largest party and intends to keep all, including the BJP, at bay.

"It's unfortunate that the elections in many areas were driven by a communal polarisation and it would be necessary to reverse this trend for building a modern welfare state," said Mufti.

The PDP patron also spelled out the poll mantra for the party leaders. "Peace and development along with a special focus on issues facing the youth, especially employment generation, should continue to guide party's policies and agenda," he said.

The party pledged to provide an inclusive platform for all regions and communities of the state for opportunities of growth.

"The absence of negativity in the party's poll discourse, clear agenda and our ability to identify actual issues had brought the PDP to the centre-stage of state's political scenario," claimed Mufti.

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