Srinagar: “It would have been hypocrisy if National Conference and Congress,” coalition partners in ruling alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, “had fielded candidates separately for polls,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said before the just concluded voting process for the parliamentary elections in the state.
However, post-election, ruling alliance candidates are “nervous” about their fate as Members of Parliament.
In Kashmir Valley, National Conference’s three top leaders—party patron Farooq Abdullah, Mehboob Beg and Sharief-ud-Din Shariq are seeking re-election.
Whether the trio can rejoin the Indian parliament depends on the poll results, which are due on Friday—the results, many believe, will also define future of the ruling coalition in the state in wake of post-election bickering among the leaders of the two parties.
“Going by the reports on the ground and recent statements by Congress leaders, it is natural for us to be nervous,” a senior National Conference leader disclosed to Kashmir Reader on Sunday.
The leader, who wished not to be named, said the party is “slightly confident” about Farooq Abdullah’s victory from Srinagar seat as he has never lost any electoral battle in his entire political career.
Regarding two other candidates, the leader said the situation is grim, but he maintained that party’s internal report on the outcome “is not as bad as projected.”
“See some Congress leaders or those affiliated with the party (referring to Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir) have hinted success to our rivals but at the same time, we have had a good number of people voting in our favour. Let’s hope for the best,” the leader added.
After the election, the bickering within the coalition ranks has become more prominent with leaders from both the parties accusing each other of not working for the success of alliance candidates in the elections.
While Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Agriculture Minister Hassan Mir openly propagated their “unsuccessfulness to motivate party cadres to vote for coalition candidates”, senior Congress leader and Minister for Medical Education Taj Mohiuddin even claimed that some NC workers in Uri had not voted for the party candidate Sharief-ud-Din Shariq for Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.
“NC vote share in Uri has got divided into two. 50 per cent of NC activists have voted in favour of PDP candidate Muzaffar Hussain Beigh,” Taj, who represents Uri in the state assembly, had said.
However, his claim drew sharp response from senior NC leader from Uri, Mohammad Shafi, a Rajya Sabha member, who accused Taj of trying to “cover up his failure.”
“He (Taj) is simply trying to cover up his failure. Instead of blaming the NC workers, he should have explained how 12 Panchayat representatives affiliated with Congress met Beigh pledging their support in elections,” Shafi alleged.
On the other hand, sources said, opposition Peoples Democratic Party is not also absolutely certain about the success of all its candidates—party chief Mehbooba Mufti, Muzaffar Hussain Beg and Tariq Hamid Karra from the Valley.
“Good signals are coming out as far south and north Kashmir seats are concerned,” said the source, adding, “Even though we are feeling confident, one can never be sure as to what transpires when result is out on Friday.”