Congress leader Abdul Gani Vakil said the "communal forces had already accepted defeat with the candidature of former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad" from Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency.
"The communal forces have failed in playing divisive politics before the strong secular credentials of Azad and have accepted their defeat in advance," said Vakil, in his address at public rallies in Banihal constituency, represented in the assembly by Congress MLA and minister of state Vikar Rasool.
BJP has given the ticket to Jatinder Singh from this constituency, who is also from Doda district.
Former minister Vakil said Azad, by contesting from Udhampur, had preferred to serve his home state for which he needs to be appreciated.
Azad, who had earlier successfully contested twice from Washim (Maharashtara), is for the first time contesting parliamentary elections from his home state.
The Congress leader said the commitment of Azad for over-equitable development of all the three regions of the state will help in addressing issues like unemployment and secularism.
"Azad, as a chief minister changed the presumed misconception of discrimination on the basis of religion and region," he said.
He said Azad set an example of hard work and dedication by working 18 hours a day, both as a chief minister and Union health minister.
Vakil said the state had witnessed development in all the fields during chief ministerial tenure of Azad, who as a Union health minister also sanctioned new medical colleges for the state.