Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)today announced its second list consisting 21 candidates for the upcoming polls to the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, introducing eight new faces including a former IPS officer who recently joined the party.Senior party leader Qazi Mohammad Afzal has been given ticket from Ganderbal seat, which is currently represented by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
While the party has retained the sitting MLAs in Pattan, Bandipora, Beerwah, Homshalibugh, Devsar and Bijbehara, the new faces who have been given the party ticket also include a former government Employees Union leader and a prominent businessman.
Raja Aijaz, who retired as Inspector General of Police, Crime, and had joined the PDP earlier this week, was given the party ticket from his home town Uri in north Kashmir.
Former employees leader Khurshid Aalam will fight his maiden election from Khanyar constituency of Srinagar, while businessman Syed Altaf Bukhari will contest from Amirakadal seat.
The other new faces are - Muntazir Mohiuddin (Budgam), Abdul Rahim Rather (Kokernag), Sardar Amreek Singh Reen (Gandhi Nagar) and Faqir Chand Baghat (Bishnah).
On Ganderbal seat, Afzal had defeated Omar in 2002. But, National Conference regained the seat in 2008 elections when Omar defeated Afzal by a slender margin of 8,215 votes.
The other prominent candidates announced by the party include sitting legislators party vice president and Shia leader Moulvi Iftkhar Hussain Ansari from Pattan constituency, Nizam-ud-din Bhat from Bandipora, Abdul Rehman Bhat Veeri from Bijbehara, Sartaj Madni from Devsar, Abdul Gaffar Sofi from Homeshalibugh and Shafi Ahmad Wani from Beerwah.
The party has reposed faith in general secretary Dilawar Mir who has been again given ticket from Rafiabad, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjoora (Chrar-e-Sharief), Fayaz Ahmad Mir (Kupwara), Bashir Ahmad Mir (Kangan), Asiea Naqash (Hazratbal), Saif-ud-din Bhat (Khansahib) and Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi (Dooru). All these candidates had lost the last Assembly elections.
On June 17, PDP came out with the first list of 28 candidates with about a dozen new faces, making it the first party in the state to announce its candidates for the Assembly elections scheduled later this year.
The party said it will announce the candidates for the remaining 38 seats shortly.