With PDP deciding to field its nominees for both the parliamentary seats in Jammu division and BJP candidates filing their nomination papers at both the places on Friday, the stage is been set for a multi-cornered contest among three main parties in Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha constituencies.
According to sources, PDP has finalised the name of its former MLC Firdous Tak for Udhampur constituency and a retired SSP and administrator of Shahdra Sharief Shrine Qayoom Dar in Jammu. The former collected nomination papers Friday from Kathua Deputy Commissioner, who is the returning officer for Udhampur constituency,.
Meanwhile, amidst ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogans and beating of drums, Union Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh and sitting MP Jugal Kishore filed nomination papers for Udhampur and Jammu parliamentary constituencies, respectively. While Jammu is going to polls during the first phase on April 11, polling will be held in Udhampur during the second phase on April 18.
Singh accompanied by Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goel and other senior party leaders filed his nomination papers before Kathua Deputy Commissioner Rohit Khajuria and Jugal Kishore.
However, officials were seen removing BJP flags from a road on Jammu-Pathankot national highway passing through Kathua town. Raising of party flags, banners or buntings on public property was a violation of Election Commission’s model code of conduct, an official said.
On Wednesday, both National Conference and Congress had entered into a seat-sharing agreement wherein former had agreed to leave both the Jammu seats for Congress in lieu of latter’s support for its president and former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar constituency. This was done to avoid division of votes between two parties against BJP, leaders of both NC and Congress said, adding that they will, however, have a friendly contest in other three constituencies of Anantnag, Baramulla and Ladakh.
It will be second time in a row that National Conference will not be contesting parliamentary elections in Jammu division. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections too, it had left both the parliamentary constituencies for Congress. However, despite having a seat-sharing agreement between them, BJP had won at both places.
While BJP has repeated its candidates at both the places, Congress is likely to field its former minister Raman Bhalla in Jammu and Vikramaditya Singh in Udhampur. Singh, who is the son of veteran Congress leader and former sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, had been a PDP MLC, but he resigned his seat in Upper House of the State Legislature.