Jammu, Mar 20: Sealing an alliance after days of hectic parleys, the Congress and National Conference Wednesday announced they will fight two and one Lok Sabha seats respectively, while agreeing on a “friendly contest” on the rest three constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir. In a joint press conference here, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and NC patron Farooq Abdullah told the media that while the Congress will contest on the Jammu and Udhampur seats, the National Conference will fight from Srinagar. There will be a “friendly contest” between the two parties on the Baramulla, Anantnag and Ladakh seats, Abdullah said. “I will contest from the Srinagar seat,” he told the press conference. State Congress chief Gulam Ahmed Mir and AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni were also present during the presser. The state sends six Lok Sabha MPs. The arrangement was worked out after a four-member Congress team led by Azad visited the residence of Farooq Abdullah at Bhatandi here. Senior National Conference leaders were present in the meeting. Azad declared that keeping in view the stature of Farooq in the national and the state politics, the Congress will not field its candidate against him from Srinagar Lok Sabha Constituency. He lauded the crucial role being played by senior Abdullah in the national politics in strengthening secular forces and isolating the divisive parties, which pose grave threat to India’s unity. He said India has been hugely heeding to the advice of the National Conference leader which was greatly witnessed during the Opposition conclaves in various parts of the country including Kolkata. Farooq advised the Congress to stich alliance with the like-minded parties elsewhere in the country in order to meeting the challenge posed by divisive and communal forces. He said India is passing through a difficult phase and there was urgent need to unite and foil the machinations of the inimical forces. While the Congress team comprised senior leader Ambika Soni, Pradesh Congress President Ghulam Ahmed Mir and former minister Nawang Rigzin Jora, the National Conference was represented in the meeting by senior leader Mohammed Shaffi Uri besides Provincial Presidents Devender Singh Rana and Nasir Aslam Wani.
Cong surrendered to NC’s ‘pro-separatist’ agenda: BJP Monitor News Bureau Srinagar, Mar 20: The Jammu and Kashmir BJP Wednesday alleged that the Congress had conceded to the National Conference’s (NC) “pro-separatist” agenda after the two parties announced a pre-poll alliance in the state. The Congress and the NC finalised arrangements for the six Lok Sabha seats of the state earlier in the day. “The NC-Congress alliance is an eye wash and a wakeup call for Jammu,” BJP spokesperson Brig (retd) Anil Gupta told reporters. “The Congress has not only surrendered to the National Conference but also conceded to the pro-separatist, Kashmir-centric, communal and divisive agenda of that party,” he said. He added that the “opportunistic” alliance was aimed at promoting “Kashmiri hegemony”. With the NC insisting on contesting from all the three seats in Kashmir, the party’s couldn’t-care-less attitude towards Jammu is obvious, Gupta said. The BJP spokesperson claimed the Congress, like the NC, will oppose granting citizenship to West Pakistan refugees and inheritance rights to the state’s daughters. The Congress-NC combine will put an end to anti militancy operations and revive the over ground support network, Gupta alleged. “They will revoke the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir and promote radicalisation in Kashmir. They will ensure that Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims are given permanent residence so that the demography of the region is changed and Jammu also becomes insecure like the Valley,” he warned. “People of Jammu will do a great disservice to their future generations if they vote for the communal and divisive agenda of the NC-Congress alliance,” Gupta said. “It would not be surprising if the Peoples Democratic Party also joins hands with them to further marginalise the voice of Jammu,” he said. While the Congress will contest on the Jammu and Udhampur seats, the NC will fight from Srinagar, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a joint press conference here with NC president Omar Abdullah. There will be a “friendly contest” between the two parties on the Baramulla, Anantnag and Ladakh seats, Abdullah said.
Notification issued for Srinagar constituency
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Mar 20: With the Election Commission issuing notification for general elections to the 2-Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency, the Returning Officer (RO) for the Constituency, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, has issued guidelines to candidates for filing of nomination papers.
The guidelines state that nominations for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat can be filed at the office of the Returning Officer from 11 am to 3 pm adding that number of proposers allowed are one for candidates of national and state parties and ten for unrecognized parties and independents.
It further states that the maximum number of persons allowed at the time of filing of nomination by a candidate are 5 including the candidate whereas the maximum number of vehicles allowed for each candidate are 3.
The candidates will also have to have separate bank accounts opened before filing their nominations.
The guidelines state that no column on the nomination form must be left blank.
The candidates have been advised to go through the latest guidelines of the ECI or approach the office of the RO for further clarifications to avoid shortcomings in the nomination papers.
ADC Srinagar KK Sidha has been appointed as the nodal officer for facilitating nomination of candidates.
Pertinently, as per the election notification for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, the last date for filing of nominations is 26 March 2019 while the scrutiny of nomination papers will be conducted on March 27.
The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 29 whereas the polling will be held on April 18 (from 7 am to 6 pm).
The Srinagar Lok Sabha seat is spread over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal. It has 12,90,318 voters who are eligible to cast their votes at 1,716 polling stations set up in the constituency.
The RO said that 26 polling stations will be set up for migrant voters of the Lok Sabha constituency including 21 in Jammu, 1 in Udhampur and 4 in New Delhi.