A high-level meeting of the National Conference’s parliamentary board decided on Monday that the party president Farooq Abdullah will contest the Lok Sabha election from Srinagar and senior leader Mohammad Akbar Lone will contest from Baramulla.
Sources in the party said the decision was taken after a lengthy meeting of the party’s parliamentary board, which is headed by Farooq and was attended by several senior leaders of the party, including vice-president Omar Abdullah and general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar. The meeting took place at the party headquarters in the city here and lasted for several hours.
Farooq, who had lost the 2014 parliamentary election from the Srinagar constituency and made a comeback win in the 2017 bypoll, has been named the party’s candidate from the central Kashmir (Srinagar) constituency, the sources said. The sources said the board also decided that Akbar, who has been a legislator as well as former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, would be the party’s candidate for the north Kashmir constituency of Baramulla.
The sources said the decision to name the candidate for the south Kashmir constituency of Anantnag as well as for three other seats in Jammu and Ladakh regions had been postponed as talks about seat-sharing with the Congress were still on.
“The party president was apprised of the meeting about the progress in talks with the Congress and we are expecting some breakthrough in a day or two,” the sources said.
The Anantnag constituency, which includes four volatile districts of south Kashmir, is a fiercely contested constituency as three major political parties — National Conference, Congress and PDP — have significant electoral sway over their Assembly segments.
The National Conference and Congress had forged a pre-poll alliance in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and also shared seats between them. Despite this, they had lost from all six seats of the state.
No decision on other seats yet
Sources said the decision to name the candidate for the south Kashmir constituency of Anantnag as well as for three other seats in the Jammu and Ladakh regions had been postponed as talks about seat-sharing with the Congress were still on