KULGAM: Kulgam Assembly segment, which goes to polls in the second phase on December 2, is set to witness a tough fight between the incumbent legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Laway.
Tarigami, the state secretary of the CPI (M) and head of the newly formed third front, the People’s United Front, has been representing the constituency for the last 18 years.
He first won the seat in 1996 after the National Conference decided not to field any candidate from the segment. Tarigami retained the seat in 2002 Assembly polls. And in 2008 he scored a hat-trick but only by a slender margin of 236 migrant votes.
This time, political observers predict a tougher fight between Tarigami and Laway.
“In 2008, Tarigami had managed the seat only with the help of migrant votes. Before the counting of migrant votes Laway had a lead of 26 votes despite being a new party face in the segment. However, during last six years he (Laway) reached out to every nook and corner of the constituency to garner support,” said Bilal Ahmad, a political analyst.
“No doubt the constituency has witnessed lot of a development during last six years but the there are certain factors including the possible participation of Jama’at-e-Islami supporters in elections as they did in 2008 which may play spoilsport for Tarigami,” Ahmad said.
Tarigami, who is banking on his achievements as three time MLA, appears confident of his victory again.
“I am sure about holding on to the seat once again as the development the constituency has witnessed during my tenure is concerned,” Tarigami told Kashmir Reader.
“People are mature enough now. They judge the candidate on the basis of his or her performance,” he said.
Tarigami, however, admitted that the participation of Jama’at supporters may go against him. “In 2008, the Jama’at people came out to vote in favour of the PDP candidate. But this time I hope the better sense prevails among the people,” he said.
Laway, on the other hand, is equally confident of his win as he is riding on the party wave across the Valley.
“In 2008 I was leading till the migrant votes were brought in for counting. This time it is the PDP wave all across the state. I am also banking on the development the constituency witnessed during the regime of Mufti sahab as chief minister,” Laway told Kashmir Reader.