Omar Abdullah may contest from Amira Kadal

Moazum Mohammad
Srinagar: Ahead of the Assembly elections, the ruling National Conference (NC) has finalized a few names internally and chalked out a poll strategy to stage a comeback after facing complete rout in Parliamentary elections.
Kashmir Reader has learnt that former MP from Anantnag, Mehboob Beg, is tipped to be new face in the Assembly polls from Anantnag constituency. Beg lost to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.
“The candidates for the Assembly elections have been finalized and there won’t be any major change except for Mehboob Beg. The names that have been cleared included Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mir Saifullah, Chaudhary Ramzan, Irfan Shah and Nazir Gurezi among others. Only few seats are left now and the final call is to be taken by party patron Farooq Abdullah, who is currently in London,” said a senior party leader privy to the development.
NC insiders said that it was yet to be decided on which constituency Omar and Farooq would contest the polls. “The leaders in Central Working Committee on Wednesday stressed that Omar Abdullah should contest from Hazratbal, Amira Kadal or Sonwar constituency. However, no final decision has been taken and it has been left to Omar to decide his choice,” the sources said.
Amira Kadal constituency is represented by NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani. In case Omar prefers to contest from there, the party would like Wani to contest from somewhere else, the sources said.
They also said the party was mainly focusing on PDP’s strength from different constituencies, and accordingly contestants were being finalized.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, NC’s Central Working Committee meet here to discuss the strategy for the Assembly polls.
“Several issues came up during the meeting. Each factor was discussed which contributed to the defeat in Parliamentary polls, and accordingly a strategy was formulated to gain confidence of public,” NC’s general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told Kashmir Reader.
In the meeting, sources said, Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather clarified “some misgivings” about him before his colleagues, saying Mehboob Beg should have complained to Omar instead of going public alleging that Rather had made hundreds of illegal appointments in the J&K Bank.
The meeting also decided to revamp the party by making some structural changes and have a relook at the party constitution, the sources added.