New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that National Conference (NC) had indeed received a proposal from Congress for the alliance in the J&K for Lok Sabha polls. However, he added that they have made it clear to the Congress party that only NC candidates will contest on the three seats in the Kashmir valley.
Omar further said, “If it suits Congress, then we can talk about other seats. Let’s see what response we receive.”
Reports of NC and the Congress inking a pre-poll alliance for J-K surfaced on Thursday, March 14, with leaders of both the parties holding a meeting in the national capital. Congress president Rahul Gandhi and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah were engaged in talks, trying to negotiate a favourable deal for both parties.
NC will help Congress in Jammu- where the two seats are currently with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whereas in Kashmir, Congress is expected to throw weight behind NC candidates. Kashmir has three seats, all of which are held by Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The BJP made a clean sweep in Jammu in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, NC chief Farooq Abdullah made it clear that he wouldn’t be the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Citing old age as the reason, Abdullah said that his son, Omar will become the chief minister as he is young.
Abdullah said, “I want to make it clear, I won’t be the chief minister in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah will become the chief minister. He is young, I’m old, I can’t run like these young men.”
There are six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, three — Baramulla, Srinagar and Anantnag — in Kashmir, two — Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Doda — in Jammu, and one in Ladakh. The seat in Ladakh was also won by the BJP candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.