LC elections: NC, Congress brace up for keen contest against PDP-BJP alliance

A keen contest will be witnessed between the ruling PDP-BJP alliance and the Congress and National Conference on the two seats of legislative council for which the elections are scheduled to be held on April 17.
Given the strength of its MLAs, the ruling alliance will be easily able to win one legislative council seat while a contest will be witnessed on another seat. Along with two MLAs of Peoples Conference (PC) lead by Social Welfare Minister, Sajad Gani Lone, the strength of the PDP and BJP legislators is 55 while as that of the NC and Congress is 27. PDP has 28 MLAs, BJP 25, NC 15 and Congress 12.
While one seat will be won by the PDP candidate, Abdul Qayoom Dar, there will be a contest on another Jammu seat between Congress party’s Balbir Singh and BJP’s Vikram Randawah. As per the understanding reached between BJP and PDP the first preference of votes will be given for the PDP candidate , while the remaining votes of the MLAs will be caste in favor of BJPs Randawah.
A total of six seats were vacant, three from Kashmir region, three others from Jammu region. From the three seats of Kashmir for which a single notification was issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), PDP’s, Yasir Reshi, BJP’s, G L Raina and NC’s, Aga Syed Mehmood have already been declared as elected.
On the seat which was reserved for Poonch, BJP’s Pradeep Sharma was declared as a winning candidate. On the two remaining seats of Jammu, the support of independent candidates including Awami Itehad Party’s (AIP) Er Rashid, People’s Democratic Front’s (PDF), Hakeem Yasin and CPI (M), MLA, M Y Tarigami, will be crucial. While at least 30 votes are required for winning one seat of Jammu, BJP still finds itself in a contest on another seat and would look at mustering the support of other independent MLAs including the Udhampur MLA, Pawan Gupta.
CPI (M) MLA, M Y Tarigami, told Kashmir Vision that he will cast vote in favor of NC-Congress alliance. PDF Chairman, Hakeem Yaseen, is likely to vote for the NC-Congress candidate.
“I will vote for a secular alliance. The verdict of the people has all along been against the communal forces. I will respect that verdict,” he said. Er Rashid said that he has yet to decide the party which he will support. “Congress party is equally responsible for the miseries that the people of Kashmir are facing. It has been due to their policies that we are subjected to heavy excesses. But nevertheless, we will hold a meeting tomorrow to decide on the party which I will support,” he said
The five seats of the state legislative council are falling vacant on April 19 following retirement of Jehangir Hussain Mir, Jugal Kishore, Dr Bashir Ahmad Shah Veeri, Master Noor Hussain and Yasir Reshi, while the sixth one has become vacant after the death of S Dharambir Singh Oberoi recently. Yasir Reshi has been elected for the second time. The ECI has also appointed the J&K legislative assembly’s secretary as the returning officer and its deputy secretary as the assistant returning officer to conduct the polls.
Assembly Secretary, Mohammad Ramzan, said that more than 29 votes are required to win one seat. He however said that the results will be shaped by the political understanding that is reached between the political parties.

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