Omar, Mehbooba in fray? | india | Hindustan Times
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Omar, Mehbooba in fray?

If National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah contests, can ruling PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti stay behind? This is the question doing the rounds in Kashmir.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2004 13:54 IST

If National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah contests, can ruling PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti stay behind? This is the question doing the rounds in Kashmir.

More than the probable list of candidates of the two parties for the Valley's three parliamentary seats, the focus is now on whether any of the two would throw their hats in the ring. Omar had won by a convincing margin when they faced each other in Srinagar in the 1999 parliamentary elections. Mehbooba had cried foul.

She had alleged that the NC had used the government machinery to secure the outcome in its favour. The claim was rebutted by the NC as the cry of a bad loser.

Today the roles have been reversed. Omar is in opposition and Mehbooba's father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, rules the state.

On Monday, the NC held a meeting of its parliamentary board but left it inconclusive because it wants to see who the PDP fields. The PDP, which met on Tuesday, too decided to wait -- till the NC revealed its list of candidates.

“If Omar contests from Srinagar, we may field Mehbooba from Anantnag,” said a PDP leader. Though that doesn't mean a direct contest between the two, it would still offer an opportunity to them to demonstrate the gains they made in the past 17 months.

If the two contest, Kashmir would become an interesting political place to watch because, for the first time, the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls would impact the state government.

Meanwhile, Nizam-ud-din, a well-known politician from north Kashmir, on Wednesday joined the PDP ahead of the formal announcement of his candidacy for Baramulla, the parliamentary constituency that the Congress was eyeing for itself.