NC-Congress finalise seat-sharing; 'Friendly contest' in Anantnag, Baramulla
Srinagar, Mar 20: After a brief disagreement over the sharing of seats in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress and the National Conference (NC) on Wednesday reached at an understanding under which Farooq Abdullah would fight the Lok Sabha election from the Srinagar seat. While in the Anantnag and Baramulla seats, which was the reason for disagreement the two parties, both would lock horns in a "friendly contest".
Jammu and Kashmir has six Lok Sabha seats and the talks of a pre-poll alliance between the two parties hit a bumpy road when the NC put forth a condition that it wants to contest from all the three seats in the Kashmir valley. NC had said that it would support the Congress in the two seats in Jammu and one in Ladakh.
The talks seemed to hit a dead end after a brief disagreement between the two parties over the Anantnag seat in south Kashmir. NC then asked senior leader an patron Farooq Abdullah to take the final call on alliance.
"Jammu and Udhampur will be contested by Congress, I will contest from Srinagar and there will be a friendly contest between NC and Congress in Anantnag and Baramulla. We are also discussing the Ladakh seat," Farooq Abdullah told the media today.
"Friendly contest means that there will be no cut-throat contest between us on these two seats (Anantnag and Baramulla). If either Congress or NC wins, it's a win-win situation for both of us," said Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad.
In Lok Sabha elections 2014, three seats were won by the BJP and three by the People's Democratic Party (PDP). The National Conference is already part of the Mahagathbandhan, an emerging united 'federal front' to counter the BJP.
Both the Congress and the NC fought the Lok Sabha polls together for the first time in 2009. Then, the Congress won two seats of Jammu region, but lost the Ladakh seat to an NC rebel who contested as an Independent candidate. The NC managed to win all three seats in the Kashmir Valley in 2009.