The National Conference and the Congress have decided to jointly contest the Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha seat bypolls but ruling partners People’s Democratic Party and BJP would fight the elections separately. The decision for the joint contest was taken after a meeting between top National Conference and Congress leaders in Srinagar. National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Sakina Itoo, and Nasir Aslam Wani participated in the meeting, while the Congress was represented by J&K Pradesh Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, former minister Taj Mohiddin and legislators Abdul Rashid and Mohammad Amin Bhat.
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At the meeting it was decided that National Conference president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah would contest from Srinagar, while Mir will be the Congress candidate for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. He will be pitted against Tasaduq Mufti, the brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. It will be the first political outing for Tasaduq since joining the PDP. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Farooq Abdullah was defeated by Tariq Hameed Karra from the Srinagar seat by over 40,000 votes. However, last year Karra resigned from the Parliament seat, left the PDP and joined the Congress.
About fighting the elections jointly with the Congress, Omar said: “In the current circumstances, to contest elections jointly is the best strategy to win both these seats. From today, our workers in south Kashmir will start campaigning for Ghulam Ahmad Mir and the state Congress president has also assured me that his workers in Srinagar and Budgam will campaign for Farooq Abdullah.”
National Conference workers from south Kashmir held their first meeting with Mir at the residence of Farooq Abdullah, he added. BJP state general secretary Wednesday Ashok Koul told party workers that efforts should be made so that BJP candidates from the Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha seats emerge victorious.