Omar Abdullah lamented the face-off between NC-PDP in the Anantnag-Rajouri polls

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SRINAGAR  :- National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah expressed disappointment on Saturday over his party’s electoral contest in the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency against the People’s Democratic Party.

Omar Abdullah, while addressing reporters in Ladakh after an election meeting supporting the NC candidate from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, alluded to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s candidacy from the south Kashmir seat. The NC has nominated its senior Gujjar leader Mian Altaf as their candidate.

Abdullah remarked, “The contest in south Kashmir is not against the BJP. Regrettably, it’s against a former ally who, driven by ambition, departed from us. Our contention, particularly in south Kashmir, isn’t with the BJP or its affiliates.”

The rift emerged after the NC decided to contest all three constituencies in the Kashmir valley, leaving no space for the PDP. Consequently, the PDP also announced its candidates for all three seats, leading to the dissolution of their alliance within the INDIA bloc and the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), formed post the abrogation of Article 370.

Abdullah emphasized that although the BJP isn’t directly contesting in the valley, it is supporting parties like the Apni Party and People’s Conference (PC). He asserted, “While the BJP may not have a direct presence, they back candidates contesting under different symbols. We’re aware of their affiliations, but their prospects are bleak.”

Commenting on BJP’s claims of NDA’s sweeping victory, Abdullah maintained that outcomes would clarify matters. He noted uncertainties regarding the Ladakh seat slipping away and potential challenges for the Udhampur seat.

Responding to BJP’s J-K president Ravindra Raina’s assertions of securing both seats in Jammu, Abdullah countered, “Let’s not speculate until polling concludes. Presently, the focus should be on ensuring fair elections.”

Abdullah further criticized BJP’s reluctance to contest in Kashmir directly, questioning their motives. He questioned BJP’s absence from the electoral fray in the valley, particularly in south Kashmir, suggesting ulterior motives behind supporting alternative parties.



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