‘Assembly polls will be held soon after the delimitation exercise is completed in J&K’.
Srinagar: Former Chief Minister and PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti has been very active to stitch an alliance with all like-minded parties in Jammu and Kashmir in order to give a united fight to BJP in the coming Assembly elections here. Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently said that Assembly elections would be held soon after the delimitation exercise is completed in Jammu and Kashmir.
Behind the scenes, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah are trying to stitch an alliance of all like-minded parties to stop BJP from making a government in Jammu and Kashmir with a Hindu Chief Minister. The draft circulated by the delimitation commission for making the new Assembly segments and parliamentary segments in Jammu and Kashmir has come under severe criticism from the NC, PDP and Congress, accusing the commission for raising the seats in the Jammu region to help BJP in the coming Assembly elections. Mehbooba Mufti recently met Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi after so many years and she had reportedly asked the Congress chief to fight the J&K elections with the PAGD alliance. After meeting Sonia Gandhi, Mehbooba Mufti told reporters that it was a courtesy call, but PDP leaders confirmed that she wants to see all secular parties united in Jammu and Kashmir to stop the march of BJP to get power.
Recently, former Chief Minister and Vice President of National Conference Omar Abdullah told reporters that he wants NC and PDP, along with other parties of PAGD, to contest the coming Assembly elections jointly in Jammu and Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti was first to respond to the suggestion of Omar Abdullah and said that the priority of PDP is to stop BJP from coming to power in Jammu and Kashmir as according to her it is crucial time in Kashmir politics. PAGD has earlier contested the DDC elections together against BJP and managed to get power at the ground level in many areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
Later one of the constituents of PAGD, Sajad Gani Lone left this umbrella organization accusing them of fighting against each other in the DDC elections. Mehbooba Mufti has been advocating joint fight to minimize the division of votes in Jammu region, especially in the Muslim dominated Chenab Valley and Peer Panchal areas.
“If Congress also fights under the banner of PAGD or an alliance partner, it will be a game changer in Jammu region especially in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts,” said a senior National Conference leader to this newspaper.
The Sajad Lone led Peoples Conference and Altaf Bukhari’s J&K Apni Party are active in some areas of Kashmir valley, but the united fight by NC, PDP, Congress and other forces will leave little ground for them to win. They are already being dubbed as the B teams of BJP in Kashmir valley. Talking to the media, Omar Abdullah recently referred to these parties and said, “We should not let the BJP or its B and C teams divide votes in Jammu and Kashmir.”