Omar wants a hattrick
Not withstanding the shadow of boycott and violence looming large, National Conference president Omar Abdullah is confident of scoring a possible hattrick from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency going to polls in the second phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir on April 26.
Omar's winnability is rated high largely due to the weak opponents in the fray.
Omar had won the seat in 1998 and 1999 Lok sabha elections while PDP president Mehbooba Mufti opposed him in 1999; Aga Syed Mehda of Congress was his main rival in 1998 elections. But this time he is facing no threat as there is no opponent capable of putting up resistance.
Though there are 13 candidates in the fray, the contest may be restricted to arch rivals, NC and PDP, which has fielded lesser known Ghulam Nabi Lone.
Both Omar and his main rival, a member of Legislative Council, had failed to win the last assembly elections from Ganderbal and Chrar-e-Sharief respectively.
PDP has problems in the constituency having rejected the claim over the party ticket of its influential youth leader Nazir Ahmad Khan, who revolted and jumped into the fray as an independent after quitting the party.
A good orator, Khan is bound to cut into the support base of PDP in the constituency as he and his father Mohammad Sarfraz Khan, a minister in the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Cabet, wield considerable respect and influence in Badgam.