Azad's candidature likely to be announced on Saturday | india | Hindustan Times
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Azad's candidature likely to be announced on Saturday

india Updated: Mar 12, 2014 21:25 IST
HT Correspondent

The candidature of union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad from Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency is likely to be announced on March 16.

Azad is arriving on three-day tour of Jammu-Poonch constituency. The Congress is likely to repeat Madan Lal Sharma from the Jammu-Poonch constituency.

Azad, a former chief minister, had never contested the parliamentary election from the state. He had contested the assembly elections only once in 2006 from the Bhaderwah constituency, when he was made the chief minister of Jammu and Kahmir.

"The party had almost decided the name of Azad. He had also shown interest. The formal announcement is likely to be made on March 16," said a senior Congress leader.

Azad, who hails from the Doda district of the state, was an important factor in the victory of Congress MP Lal Singh, who had won by a margin of 13,000 votes over the BJP candidate.

Udhampur parliamentary constituency has 17 assembly seats. Congress had seven seats in the 2009 assembly polls held after 2008 Amarnath land row, when there was strong anti-Congress wave in the then polarised atmosphere. Five out of the seven seats were won from the erstwhile Doda district, the home town of Azad.

"In the supposedly anti-Congress media projected wave, the party can't afford to lose a single seat. It is because of it that Azad has accepted the party decision to contest," said a senior Congress minister, wishing not to be named.

The party is contesting elections in an alliance with the National Conference. BJP candidate Jatinder Singh's home town is also Doda, but he has never contested any election.