With Lok Sabha polls drawing nearer, the National Conference on Wednesday announced candidates for three out of six Parliament seats in Jammu and Kashmir.
The charismatic Farooq Abdullah will be NC’s candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat while former speaker of J&K Assembly Akbar Lone will contest from north Kashmir’s Baramulla seat and former chief secretary BR Kundal will be the party’s candidate for Jammu-Poonch constituency.
While Abdullah was defeated by then PDP candidate Tariq Karra in 2014 LS polls from Srinagar, the NC leader wrested back the seat during the by-polls to the parliamentary constituency comprising Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts by defeating PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan in April 2017.
The by-election to the constituency was necessitated after the former PDP leader Tariq Karra resigned from the Lok Sabha in protest against the “atrocities inflicted upon people during the 2016 uprising” triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The three-time chief minister of J&K and a former union minister, the 81-year-old Abdullah was earlier also elected to the lower house in 1980 and 2009. Abdullah said the party’s parliamentary board is meeting in coming days to finalise the names for the remaining constituencies-Anantnag, Ladakh and Udhampur. “It will be done in coming two to three days,” the NC president said.
On Sunday, the election commission (EC) announced the schedule for Lok Sabha polls, which will be conducted in five phases in Jammu and Kashmir from April 11 to May 6.
The restive Anantnag constituency, which is spread over four districts including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, will go to the polls in three-phases.