“PDP has joined BJP as its ‘C’ team”: NC leader Omar Abdullah

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Anantnag (Jammu and Kashmir): National Conference leader Omar Abdullah claimed that Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its ‘C team’. Abdullah’s statement comes after BJP leader Mushtaq Bukhari notably urged members of the Pahari community to vote for Mehbooba Mufti in the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

Referring to this, the NC leader said, “If we have to defeat the BJP here, and the powers spreading poison in the whole country, then people should look at INDIA alliance leaders on all five seats of J&K. All others are connected to the BJP in some way. Be it the ‘A’ or ‘B’ team that meets Tarun Chugh sahib or PDP. I am assuming that now Mehbooba Mufti will put pressure on the BJP to get Mushtaq Bukhari’s statement changed. PDP has joined BJP as its ‘C’ team.”

When asked about sitting BJP Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal who dropped as a candidate from the constituency in this election, Abdullah said that they will try to field such a candidate from the National Conference-Congress so that BJP has no chance of winning the seat.

“The right candidate should be fielded by Congress (on the Ladakh seat) as we are fighting together on the Ladakh seat. We will try to field such a candidate from National Conference-Congress so that BJP has no chance of winning the seat,” he said.

BJP on Tuesday announced Tashi Gyalson, a former party general secretary of the Ladakh unit, as its candidate from the Ladakh constituency replacing its current MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal from the Lok Sabha seat. Tashi Gyalson is a councillor from the Lingshed constituency and in 2020 was elected as chairman and chief executive councillor of the 6th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, (LAHDC), Leh.

He joined the BJP after the BJP-PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir collapsed. He was then a member of the PDP. Polling in Udhampur was held on April 19 (Phase 1), while Jammu, Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar, and Baramulla will poll on April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20 respectively.

In 2019, polling for the Lok Sabha was held for six seats in Jammu and Kashmir. However, following the abrogation of Article 370, which resulted in the split of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories–Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, there is no longer a separate Lok Sabha constituency for Ladakh. In the 2019 elections, the BJP won three seats while the National Conference won the remaining three. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

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