Talks on with Congress, 3 Kashmir seats already with NC: Omar - Hindustan Times
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Talks on with Congress, 3 Kashmir seats already with NC: Omar

ByAshiq Hussain, Srinagar
Feb 28, 2024 01:44 AM IST

NC claimed three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir were with them and discussions are being held on remaining three seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh

The National Conference (NC), one of major regional parties of Jammu and Kashmir, said on Tuesday that they will have another round of talks with Congress over seat sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Omar Abdullah (HT File)
Omar Abdullah (HT File)

However, the party claimed that the three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir were with them and the discussions are being held on the remaining three seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh.

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NC president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah, while talking to reporters in Srinagar, said that the discussions with Congress will continue in coming days.

Omar said that there was one round of discussions in New Delhi with Congress.

“There were certain proposals put forward by Congress which were to be discussed within NC. One of the proposals hasn’t found acceptance from NC’s senior leadership. So, we will go back and have a second round of discussions,” he said.

“It is only six seats, and anyway, three seats (in Kashmir) are held by NC and essentially, we are only discussing three seats - Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh. I don’t think it will be too difficult and I am sure in the next round of discussion we will have it concluded,” Omar said.

In J&K, the NC, the Peoples Democratic Party led by Mehbooba Mufti and the Congress are part of the INDIA bloc, which has been battered by desertions and tough seat-sharing negotiations among allies at the national level.

Omar’s father and NC patriarch Farooq Abdullah said that the INDIA group was necessary for the nation’s progress.

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“It is without doubt that we have to do an agreement with Congress. Omar is talking to them and within a few days, there will be a decision. And we will fight together,” he said.

“It is necessary to strengthen the INDIA group. If we don’t, then we are putting our nation into peril. We can’t live alone. We are part of the nation. It is up to people to decide whom to vote for. Do they want to bring those who took away our identity? And God knows what they will do in future. People need to be aware,” he said.

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He said that people joining Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) in J&K won’t impact the prospects of NC. “People will come and go into BJP. It happens during elections. But it will have no effect on the NC. We have to fight on our own strength,” he said.

The NC president also advocated for the conduct of assembly elections in the J&K. “It is unfortunate that if Parliamentary elections can be held, why not the assembly elections?,” he said.

On February 17, The NC president Farooq had said during a press conference in Srinagar that his party will contest elections on all five Lok Sabha seats from J&K independently. Omar Abdullah, however, had later clarified that NC was a part of the INDIA bloc and would hold talks with Congress.

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