NC ‘loses’ Ladakh to Congress before election

Srinagar: J&K’s ruling coalition partners National Conference and Congress on Friday decided to contest ensuing election to six parliamentary seats in the state on equal share basis.
The Congress has left all the three seats in the Kashmir Valley to NC, which has already announced its incumbent contenders—Sharif-ud-Din Shariq from Baramulla-Kupwara, Mehbooba Beg from Anantnag-Pulwama and Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar-Budgam, reports said.
“Our party high command during a meeting chaired by Madam Sonia (Gandhi) has agreed to forge electoral alliance with National Conference on equal share basis for Lok Sabha polls and we will announce our candidates for the three seats, two in Jammu and one in Ladakh, very soon,” state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz was quoted as saying by local news agency KNS.
However, NC’s additional general secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal feigned ignorance about the development.
“I have no knowledge about it. I am only hearing it from you,” Kamaal said when contacted by Kashmir Reader.
“We have already informed the party president Dr Farooq Abdullah about the ground situation. While we want to contest all six seats, final call has been left to him,” Kamaal said.
“We have given this option to our president that if it is found necessary to have a compromise on the Parliament seats, then we should continue with the present existing position—we take four, they take two. But again final call has been left to Farooq Abdullah.”
While NC announced its candidates for three Kashmir seats in December last year, it had kept the cards close to its chest on the fate of party’s incumbent MP Ghulam Hassan Khan from Ladakh seat.
Meanwhile, there was no official word from Congress regarding the fate of its incumbent MPs from Jammu, Madan Lal Sharma and Lal Singh, even as some reports suggested that the duo will be fielded again by the party.