LS polls: Azad to contest from Udhampur, says Soz

Jammu: Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to contest from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Saif-ud-Din Soz, said here Wednesday.
“As per my understanding, Azad will contest from Udhampur-Kathua Lok Sabha seat. It is expected that announcement would be made at any time,” Soz told reporters here.
“There was delay for all the seats—Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh. We have not announced any candidate. It may be announced any time. I feel sure as president PCC that Azad will contest from Udhampur and Madan Lal Sharma will contest from Jammu,” he said.
Soz was replying to questions about delay in announcement of candidates for Lok Sabha constituencies in J-K particularly with regard to the candidature of Azad.
Replying to another question about Azad’s reluctant to contest elections from his native LS constituency of Udhampur-Kathua, JKPCC chief said “this is neither a situation of pressurising Azad nor a situation that he is asking for it”.
“It was for the first time in Surankote (Poonch district) where he (Azad) said that he was responding to the request (to contest elections from Udhampur LS seat) from his workers. It was enough for me to take a decision as PCC president and we have moved in this direction”, Soz said.
“Azad is a senior leader and in his own right, he will fight from his own constituency. We feel comfortable with him. One way or other, he is a popular candidate. He is a winning proposition. He must be our candidate”, he added.
About Modi ‘wave’, JKPCC Chief said “Jammu and Kashmir is different and there is no Modi factor”.
“We have respected the aspirations of all the regions, particularly Jammu, in the best way as we could. BJP cannot pinpoint any area which has remain unattended or neglected from our side. I feel comfortable from our side that we shall win comfortably both the seats”, he said.
BJP has nothing to show to the people of Jammu province. “There is no question of Modi factor in Jammu and I will prove this point,” Soz said.
“…Modi is not properly educated about India and its history. To run India is not a joke. India is a big country. The people will not go berserk to choose extremism and make India a Hindu state. India’s people will defeat people like Modi and BJP who will be moving country towards fascism, India is too big for BJP and enormously big for Modi”, he said.
Replying to the question about sharing of dais by him and Azad during a public meeting with tainted former minister Shabir Khan, Soz said it was his rally and he was the chief organiser for it.
“Shabir Khan may be accused but he is not convicted. Law will take its own course,” Soz added.
Last month, Khan was booked by police on a complaint by a lady doctor, alleging that he made an attempt to molest her.—PTI