PDP not to field candidates in Jammu, Udhampur seats

MAJID NABI. Dated: 3/24/2019 12:23:59 PM

Mehbooba to contest LS polls from Anantnag

SRINAGAR, Mar 23: PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Anantnag constituency.
Announcing this at a press conference here, she also said that PDP will not field its candidates in Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha constituencies to avoid the division of secular votes.
The former chief minister said that after receiving feedback from civil society, social organizations and PDP cadre in Jammu, it was unanimously decided that the party will not field its candidates from Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Poonch seats.
“Last time we contested on these seats and secured 1.75 lakh votes, some of our leaders suggest we should fight elections from Jammu. However, some civil society groups, social organizations and party cadres said that if we contest elections on these seats secular vote bank will be divided,” Mehbooba said.
She said fielding candidates on these will directly benefit those forces, which are hell-bent on destroying Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehbooba said that the step not to contest parliamentary elections from Jammu was taken in the larger interest of the people. She said the decision was taken during PDP’s Parliamentary Board meeting
She, however, said that she will contest from Anantnag Parliamentary constituency while Agha Mohsin will be party’s candidate from central Kashmir seat, Srinagar.
From Baramullah, she said, Abdul Qayoom Wani will contest parliamentary elections.
“We see alliances are made in entire state but same doesn’t go the way it should be. Our bigger concern is that secular votes should not be harmed and secular forces are strengthened,” she added.
Condemning the ban on Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) by the Centre under Anti- terror law, PDP president said that the party which has shunned path of violence way back was looking for peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue.
She said there is battle of ideas in democracy but banning JKLF is a bad step taken by the centre.
“Banning JKLF means you push people to the wall and force them to take recourse to violence once again because you choke their democratic space. This should not have happened. In democracy you have to provide people a space to fight things politically rather than using suppressive measures,” she added.
She alleged that Jammu and Kashmir State has yet again made scapegoat for elections in India.
She said ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ahlihadees and arresting their leaders is part of oppressive policy being adopted in Kashmir.
“Arresting religious heads is part of an oppressive policy. Jammu and Kashmir is being used as scapegoat for elections. An impression is being created that we firmly deal with Kashmir at the cost of Kashmir,” Mehbooba claimed.



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