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Business News/ Politics / News/  Lok Sabha elections 2024: Is this the end of INDIA bloc in Kashmir? PDP & NC to contest against each other in the valley
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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Is this the end of INDIA bloc in Kashmir? PDP & NC to contest against each other in the valley

Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on April 3, said her PDP is holding discussions among its leaders and workers about contesting the three Lok Sabha seats of the Kashmir Valley.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: PDP, NC to contest against each other in Kashmir. End of INDIA alliance in Valley?Premium
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: PDP, NC to contest against each other in Kashmir. End of INDIA alliance in Valley?

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC), both part of the INDIA bloc in Jammu and Kashmir, will compete against each other in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections for the three seats in the Kashmir valley.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on April 3, Wednesday, said that the PDP is engaged in discussions with its leaders and workers about contesting the three Lok Sabha seats of the Kashmir Valley. 

Mufti's statement comes after the NC announced the candidature of senior party leader Mian Altaf Ahmed Lahrvi from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat of Jammu and Kashmir, virtually ending chances of an alliance with the PDP in the Valley. 

Pertinently, NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti attended the INDIA bloc's show-of-strength ‘Loktantra Bachao’ rally in New Delhi on March 31.

PDP has accused NC vice president Omar Abdullah of leaving them "no option". Abdullah, however, hit back saying the PDP was going back on the understanding reached between the constituents of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) for the District Development Council (DDC) elections in 2020.

"They (NC) have left no option for us other than to field candidates and contest the elections," Mufti told reporters on Wednesday. The party's parliamentary board would take a final call on the candidates, she added.

While holding talks with the Congress on seat-sharing in Jammu and Kashmir, the NC had made it clear that they will be contesting the three valley seats as they had won these in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

The three seats were won by the NC in 2019. The party left two seats in Jammu - Udhampur and Jammu - for the Congress as part of the INDIA bloc's seat-sharing agreement. 

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Cracks in INDIA bloc in J&K? NC fields Mian Altaf from PDP bastion of Anantnag-Rajouri

Mufti, who lost the Anantnag seat in 2019, said the attitude of the NC leadership was disappointing and hurtful.

"When the INDI alliance's meeting took place in Mumbai, I said there that since (NC president) Farooq Abdullah is our senior leader, he will take a decision (on seat-sharing) and will do justice. I had hoped he would keep the party interests aside," she said.

But the NC took the decision to contest all the three seats in Kashmir unilaterally, she added.

Omar Abdullah, in the meanwhile, blamed the PDP of going back on the understanding reached for the DDC polls where the parties having won the seats would field their candidates.

"What can I say about this? It is their own will. How can I stop them? We announced candidates for the three seats of Kashmir based on their own formula," the former chief minister of the erstwhile state said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government revoked Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, on August 5, 2019.

The voting in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in five phases beginning April 19 and the counting of the votes will take place on June 4.

Assembly Polls to the erstwhile state, administered by the Centre-appointed Lieutenant Governor since 2018, are likely to be held later this year.

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published: 03 Apr 2024, 06:14 PM IST
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