Srinagar: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that his party had given his father and party president Farooq Abdullah the mandate to decide candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha by-polls.
He said that during the party’s core group meeting at Farooq Abdullah’s residence on Gupkar Road, NC members also authorised the party president to decide whether to enter into an alliance with the Congress or not.
“We had called for the core group meeting to assess the current situation and prepare for the upcoming elections. We discussed in detail how this election would be fought. The core group has authorised the party president (Farooq Abdullah) to take decisions regarding the upcoming by-polls,” Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.
“Once the party president will make the decisions (regarding candidates), we will communicate them to the people,” he added.
On prospects of an alliance with the Congress, Abdullah said that the party has not yet decided on it. “I cannot talk of an alliance with the Congress right now,” he said.
According to sources in the NC, the names of Farooq Abdullah, Rahim Rather and Mustafa Kamal are being discussed as candidates for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.
In all likelihood, the sources said, Farooq Abdullah will contest for the Srinagar seat.
“On Wednesday, Farooq Abdullah is likely to announce his candidature for the Srinagar constituency,” a source said. “He is also likely to announce an alliance and seat-sharing agreement with the Congress. So far, it is clear that Farooq will fight from Srinagar while GA Mir of the Congress will fight from Anantnag,” the source added.
The Congress has already expressed its willingness to enter into an alliance on a seat-sharing agreement with the NC.
Voting for the Budgam-Srinagar Lok Sabha seat is scheduled on April 9, and for the Anantnag seat on April 12.
The ruling PDP has already decided on Nazir Khan, an associate of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, for Srinagar and on Tasaduq Mufti for Anantnag.