After days of hectic deliberations, the Congress and National Conference (NC) Wednesday sealed an alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Polls. J&K will vote in five phases on April 11, 18, 23, 29 and May 6, 2019. Lok Sabha Elections 2019 LIVE Updates
Announcing the alliance, NC chief Farooq Abdullah said Congress will contest on Jammu and Udhampur and that he will be contesting from Srinagar. However, there will be a “friendly contest” between the two parties on the Anantnag and Baramulla seats, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and NC patron Abdullah jointly told the media.
The NC chief also said the two parties are discussing on the Ladakh seat.
Azad said there will be no cut-throat competition between the Congress and NC on Anantnag and Baramulla seats. “Friendly contest means that there will be no cut-throat contest between us on these two seats (Anantnag and Baramulla). If either Congress or NC wins, it’s a win-win situation for both of us,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Azad also reiterated that the alliance has been finalised in the national interest and “will strengthen the secular forces in J&K as the state faces threat from Pakistan.”
“Live and let live. This is the best decision taken in national interest. If either the Congress or National Conference wins, it is a win-win situation for both,” he said.
Azad said the tie-up will ensure there is no division of secular votes and BJP doesn’t benefit. He said all Congress leaders will also campaign for Abdullah, who will be the joint candidate from the Srinagar Parliamentary seat, which he currently represents.
The two parties had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections together as well, and ended up with no seat. The BJP had won both the seats in the Jammu region and one in Ladakh, while the PDP had won all the three constituencies in Kashmir.
-With inputs from agencies
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines