NC backs Cong’s Ghulam Nabi Azad for Rajya Sabha polls
The National Conference (NC) on Tuesday decided to support Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad as the common candidate of the two parties for a Rajya Sabha seat from Jammu and Kashmir.india Updated: Jan 27, 2015 23:15 IST
The National Conference (NC) on Tuesday decided to support Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad as the common candidate of the two parties for a Rajya Sabha seat from Jammu and Kashmir.
The decision was taken after a 30-minute meeting between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and NC working president Omar Abdullah in Delhi.
A former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and a former Union minister, Azad is the leader of the Opposition in the Upper House.
“The two parties have decided to combine forces to field a joint candidate for RS polls in J&K to snatch a seat from the unholy alliance,” Abdullah tweeted, making a pointed reference to the BJP and the Peoples Democratic Party which were trying to form a coalition government in his state.
Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats from the state are due on February 7, coinciding with the Delhi assembly poll.
The NC offer has put to rest speculations about Azad’s re-nomination to the Upper House. Abdullah’s party has 15 seats and the Congress has 12 in the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir assembly after the December polls. The PDP is the largest part with 28 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 25.
Azad could get the support of CPM’s Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami and Peoples Democratic Front’s Hakim Muhammad Yasin. Congress sources said two more Independents might back him.
The BJP announced its two candidates: former state president Shamsher Singh Manhas and senior leader Chander Mohan Sharma.
The PDP had named Nazir Ahmad Laway and Fayaz Ahmad Mir. Both have narrowly lost last year’s assembly elections.
BJP sources in Delhi dismissed suggestions of an agreement with the PDP for the Rajya Sabha polls, but its leaders in the state the two parties could win three of the four seats together.
The elections could provide the platform to form the next government in the state, which is under governor’s rule.