End of INDIA bloc on cards in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti's PDP to contest valley's 3 LS seats | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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End of INDIA bloc on cards in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti's PDP to contest valley's 3 LS seats

Apr 03, 2024 02:12 PM IST

Mehbooba Mufti said National Conference left the PDP with no other option other than to contest election.

Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday announced to independently contest elections on the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir, thus putting an an end of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc on cards in the valley.

It's Omar Abdullah versus Mehbooba Mufti in J&K
It's Omar Abdullah versus Mehbooba Mufti in J&K

While blaming the National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abduallh for non-cooperation over the seat division, Mufti said that the INDIA bloc partner left the PDP with no other option other than to contest election.

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While addressing a press conference, Mufti said, "They (NC) have left no option for us other than to field candidates and contest the elections. The party’s Parliamentary Board would take a final call on the candidates."

The announcement came days after the NC announced that it would field its candidates on all the three seats of Kashmir. The NC left two seats in Jammu for the Congress as part of the INDIA bloc's seat-sharing agreement.

The PDP chief claimed that the need of the hour was to remain united after the Centre revoked the erstwhile state's special status in 2019, but the attitude of the NC leadership was disappointing and hurtful.

"When the INDI alliance's meeting took place in Mumbai, I said there that since (NC president) Farooq Abdullah is our senior leader, he will take a decision (on seat sharing) and will do justice. I had hoped he would keep the party interests aside. But the NC took the decision to contest all three seats in Kashmir unilaterally," PTI quoted Mufti as saying.

"The way Omar spoke was very disappointing, that was an insult not to me, but to my workers. So, how can I tell my workers to support NC? It is not easy. We will field candidates and leave it up to the people. The people are the better judge to see which voices they want in the Parliament,” the PDP president added.

While reacting to PDP's decision, NC's vice president Omar Abduallh said that if Mufti is fielding her own candidates, then perhaps she does not want any kind of alliance.

"...If she (PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti) has announced to field candidates on all 5 seats, it is her choice. We have fielded candidates on 3 seats in Kashmir based on her formula...If she is fielding her own candidates then perhaps she does not want any kind of alliance even for the assembly elections. We kept the door open, now if she has closed the door then it is not our fault..." news agency ANI quoted Abdullah as saying.

He further stated that party president and sitting MP from Srinagar Farooq Abduallh, however, won't be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls due to his ailing health.

Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who quit the Congress recently, announced to contest from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat in the upcoming polls.

Elections 2024:

The Lok Sabha polls in the union territory will be held in the first five phases on April 19 (Udhampur), April 26 (Jammu), May 7 (Anantnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar) and May 20 (Baramulla). The counting of votes will be done on June 4. The Lok Sabha polls will continue until June 1 and will be held in seven phases.

(With inputs from agencies)

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