Lok Sabha polls: Former Judge, Hasnain Masoodi NC’s candidate for Anantnag
Srinagar, Mar 19: Former J&K High Court Judge, Hasnain Masoodi has been chosen by National Conference as its candidate in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming parliamentary polls. “The party has decided to field Justice [retd.) Hasnain Masoodi from the Anantnag-Pulwama parliamentary constituency,” NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar tells reporters at party’s head office at Nawai-Subha in Srinagar. The Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in five phases beginning April 11. The restive Anantnag parliamentary constituency, comprising Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts, will go to the polls “in parts” in the third, fourth, and fifth phase. National Conference has decided to field Masoodi from south Kashmir after its talks failed with Congress as the latter wanted Ghulam Ahmad Mir to contest from there. Talking to The Kashmir Monitor, Masoodi said that Kashmir was facing many challenges and his primary goal would be to protect the state’s special status. Asked about his decision to enter politics, he said: “We need a strong political force in Kashmir to protect the special status of the state. We have to articulate with all force to protect the human rights of Kashmiris. We have to give 100 percent for welfare of people whichever field we are in,” he said, while condemning the custodial death of the Awantipora youth. The 65-year-old former judge, who retired from the Court in January 2016, is currently serving as the chairman of Selection-cum-Oversight Committee under the Juvenile Justice Act. On Oct 11, 2015, Justice Masoodi ruled that Article 370, granting special status to the State, is permanent. “Article 370, though titled as ‘Temporary Provision’ and included in Para XXI titled ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’, has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution,” a Division Bench of Justices Masoodi and Janak Raj Kotwal ruled. “It is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation, in as much as Constituent Assembly of the State before its dissolution did not recommend its Amendment or repeal,” the Bench said. The NC is fielding party president Farooq Abdullah from the Srinagar-Budgam and senior leader and former Speaker of the Assembly Muhammad Akbar Lone from the Baramulla-Kupwara.