LJP may contest J-K Assembly polls solo

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LJP
Srinagar, Nov 3: NDA partner Lok Janshakti Party may go it alone in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections and put up candidates even against BJP, its ally at the Centre.

LJP Parliamentary Board, the party's highest policy making body, will take a final call on the matter, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said here on Nov 3.

Paswan, who is the President of LJP, is here to fathom the mood of the party workers, said "I came here for assessment as Assembly polls are going to be held. I held talks with my party cadre. Most party leaders in Jammu and Kashmir want us to fight the Assembly polls."

To a question as to whether LJP will cross swords with BJP, he clarified that the party's alliance was at the Centre and not at the state-level.

"Even when we were with Congress (as part of the UPA), LJP had fought state elections on its own. Wherever possible, we fight together. We are fighting together in Jharkhand, but as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, our party had talks with BJP president Amit Shah over Habbakadal," he said.

"BJP might have taken the decision for its own interest. But ours is a separate party and we have to keep our interest in mind," he said. BJP had yesterday announced that it will contest from Habbakadal constituency and named Moti Lal Kaul as its candidate along with candidates for 44 other seats in the state. Jammu and Kashmir has 87 Assembly seats.

"Our party cadre wants our national youth president Sanjay Saraf to fight from Habbakadal. He has been struggling a lot for Kashmiris. I am taking a report from here and LJP Parliamentary Board will meet and decide the future course of action," he said.

Replying to a question about the Centre supplying food grains to the state based on the 2001 Census, the Union minister said the state government should implement the Food Security Act and then the ration would be given according to the 2011 Census.

"The previous government had enacted Food Security Act and we too are implementing that. We have told the states to implement the act and once it is implemented, then automatically the 2011 census would come into play.

"We have extended the time for its implementation to six months. Till now only 11 states have implemented the act but Jammu and Kashmir is not among them," he said.

PTI

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