PDP unlikely to surrender Poonch seat to BJP

Even as the BJP is staking its claim on the Legislative Council seat reserved for Poonch district, sources said the PPDwas unlikely to leave the seat for its coalition partner as the party had set a target to make the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri its citadels.
For the PDP, Poonch and Rajouri are politically “fertile” belt in the Jammu province so the party leadership is likely to leave no opportunity to make inroads into the mountainous belt, the sources said.
The BJP during its state election committee meeting on Saturday had prepared a panel of 12 potential candidates for the three Legislative Council seats of the Jammu province, including one reserved for Poonch district. For the Poonch seat, it is mandatory for the candidate to belong to the district. The BJP had incorporated names of four probable candidates from Poonch for the reserved seat.
Sources said PDP leaders from the twin border districts upon learning that the BJP was claiming the Poonch seat brought the matter to the notice of the party leadership. They cautioned against “surrendering” the seat to the saffron party, saying that it would be prove disastrous for the PDP in the next Assembly polls.
“The PDP leadership has made it clear that there is no question of leaving the Poonch seat for the BJP because it has invested a lot in the district and it hopes to reap the political benefits in the days to come,” a source said, adding that the “PDP top brass has assured the district party leaders of staking claim on the Poonch seat during the seat-sharing talks with the BJP.”
On March 15, the Election Commission of India had announced the schedule for the biennial elections to six seats of the Legislative Council on April 17. Three separate elections will be held to fill six vacancies to the Council.
Separate polling will be held for filling two seats from the Jammu province, one seat reserved for Poonch and for three seats from the Kashmir province.