J&K: Azad to contest from Anantnag-Rajouri LS seat - Hindustan Times
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J&K: Azad to contest from Anantnag-Rajouri LS seat

ByMir Ehsan, Srinagar
Apr 03, 2024 06:34 AM IST

Azad is the second politician who has decided to contest polls from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat. On Monday, the National Conference announced former minister and veteran Gujjar leader Mian Altaf as party candidate.

Former J&K chief minister and president Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad will contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat.

Former J&K chief minister and president Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad will contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat. (ANI File)
Former J&K chief minister and president Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad will contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat. (ANI File)

Azad is the second politician who has decided to contest polls from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat. On Monday, the National Conference announced former minister and veteran Gujjar leader Mian Altaf as party candidate.

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Azad’s candidature was announced by DPAP treasurer Taj Mohi-ud-Din in Srinagar. “Today core committee of our party met, and we have decided that our president, Ghulam Nabi Azad will contest Lok Sabha polls from Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat,” said Mohi-ud-Din.

After resigning from Congress in 2022, Azad formed his own party a year later and has been holding a series of rallies across J&K. However, his focus has been on south Kashmir where Azad held many rallies in the last one year. The former J&K chief minister has managed to rope in several former Congress legislators in his party who holds good sway in their respective areas in Anantnag, Poonch and Rajouri.

Azad will be eyeing the Congress votes in south Kashmir and Rajouri-Poonch region as Congress won’t field any candidate from the seat and in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress candidate was runner up on this Lok Sabha seat.

Also, BJP, which was planning to give ticket to J&K president Ravinder Raina, as per the sources in the party won’t field a strong candidate in south Kashmir Lok Sabha seat.

The contest for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat will become interesting if the PDP president and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti who has a strong base in South Kashmir, is thinking to contest from Anantnag as several top leaders of the PDP have been insisting on her candidature from the seat.

After Azad lost Lok Sabha polls from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in 2014 against a BJP candidate, he is now hoping to wrest the seat which is spread on the assembly segments of south Kashmir, Poonch and Rajouri and has a sizeable population of Gujjars and Paharis. Azad, who had served as J&K chief minister during the PDP-Congress coalition government, is banking on his work as chief minister.

The Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat will go to the polls on May 7 in the third phase of voting.

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