The BJP, PDP and NC have finalised their candidates for the biennial elections to the legislative council. The names of five BJP candidates were finalised in the party's central election committee meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The party candidates from the Jammu province are Vibodh Gupta, Ramesh Arora and Charanjit Singh Khalsa. While Tsering Dorjung has been nominated as BJP candidate from the Leh Province, Sofi Yusaf is the party candidate from
the Kashmir Province.
While Gupta and Arora are party's state unit vice presidents and old workers, Khalsa is the BJP state unit secretary. Arora was in charge of assembly elections in Kashmir while Khalsa was the convener. Yusaf is an old party hand, a leader said.
Meanwhile, the PDP has also finalised six contestants for the elections. From Kashmir, it has named Yasir Reshi, Javaid Mirchal, Saifuddin Bhat and from Jammu, the party has selected Surinder Choudhary and Firdous Tak, while Inayat Ali is from Kargil.
Saifuddin Bhat and Firdous Tak had unsuccessfully contested the elections from Khansahab and Kishtwar assembly constituencies. Inayat Ali also lost the recently-held assembly elections.
February 18 is the last date of filling of nomination papers.
As per PDP-BJP seat sharing arrangement, the PDP is contesting six seats, leaving five seat for the BJP. There is possibility that the alliance will win at least nine seats. However, the alliance will get tough contest from National Conference-Congress alliance on one seat in Jammu and other in Kashmir.
The elections for eight seats were being held following the completion of the terms of the outgoing members between March 9 and 16. The other three vacancies are being filled as they were elected to the lower house.
At present in the 34 member upper house, the NC has 16 members and the Congress has 13. The PDP has four and the Panthers Party has one. It will for the first time in the history any member from the BJP will be elected to the upper house.
Meanwhile, the NC has nominated Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo and Qaiser Jamshed Lone from Jammu and Kashmir respectively.
The biennial polls will be held on March 2 for which the notification was issued on February 12 and the last date of filing nominations is February 18.
Among the sitting MLC members retiring between March 9 and 16 are M K Ajatshatru Singh (Jammu Province), B R Kundal (Jammu Province), Syed Asgar Ali (Jammu Province), Narboo Gialchan (Ladakh Tehsil of Kashmir Province), Aga Syed Ahmad Rizvi (Kargil Tehsil of Kashmir Province), Vijay Bakaya (Kashmir Province), Syed Mohammad Rafiq Shah (Kashmir Province) and Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy (Jammu Province).
Besides, Mohammad Ashraf Mir (Kashmir Province), Abdul Majeed Bhat (Kashmir Province) and Devender Singh Rana (Jammu Province) have since been elected to the Legislative Assembly held last year.