INDIA bloc formed to reduce seats of BJP, not alliance partners in LS polls: NC leader Omar Abdullah


Srinagar:  Congress-led INDIA bloc was formed to reduce the seats of BJP and not of its own alliance partners in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday, reiterating that the party will not “surrender” any of the three seats in Kashmir that it has won in the last general election.

The former chief minister was reacting to speculations that INDIA bloc has reached an agreement on seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh with Congress fighting on Jammu, Udhampur (in Jammu region) and Ladakh constituencies, National Conference (NC) on Srinagar and Baramulla and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Anantnag seat.

NC had won Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag seats and BJP was victorious on Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh in the 2019 general elections.

“Why should we surrender a seat? The aim of the INDIA alliance is to reduce the seats of BJP and not reduce the seats of INDIA alliance members. We are discussing only three seats,” Omar told Media.

He said there has been only one round of discussions in New Delhi recently on the seat-sharing agreement among the INDIA bloc partners.

“There were certain proposals put forward by Congress which required to be discussed within the National Conference. One of the proposals that they had has not found acceptance from NC senior leadership,” he said, without giving any further details.

He said there will be a second round of discussion and “I am going to Delhi in a few days”.

However, he reiterated that his party would be only discussing those seats which are presently held by the BJP.

“There are only six seats including Ladakh. Three seats are anyway held by NC. So we are only discussing three seats – Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh. So I do not think it will be too difficult,” Omar said.

The NC leader expressed hope of “good news” with regard to assembly elections during the upcoming visit of the Election Commission (EC) to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Jammu and Kashmir has not had assembly elections since 2014. This is the tenth year now. As I have said earlier, it is a matter of shame that assembly elections in J&K had to be announced by the Supreme Court,” he said, referring to the judgment of the apex court on December 11 last year, directing the Centre to hold assembly polls in the Union Territory by September 30.

Omar said the elections should have been announced by the Election Commission. “Now the EC is coming here in March, so I hope we get to hear some good news.”

Voting Poll
Should Centre conduct Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir?