- Sputnik India, 1920
Kashmir News
Sputnik India special correspondent in Jammu & Kashmir is working 24/7 to provide an original & non-biased perception of events in the Kashmiri region.

Political Changes in Kashmir as Regional Parties Finalize Candidates

© AP Photo / Mukhtar KhanActivists of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party display party flags ahead of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, March 6, 2024.
Activists of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party display party flags ahead of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.04.2024
The National Conference has announced the candidature of Shia politician and former cabinet minister Aga Ruhullah from the Srinagar parliamentary constituency.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief Omar Abdullah and vice president of the regional National Conference (NC) party has said he will contest the 2024 general election from the Baramulla constituencies.
Omar Abdullah told reporters on Friday that he had chosen to stand in the Baramulla constituencies instead of Srinagar, a seat currently held by his father Farooq Abdullah, to defeat the governing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which he said was focused on winning the seat through proxy parties.

Election Speak

The younger Abdullah will take on smaller regional parties, including the People's Conference and Apni Party.
The NC insists those two parties act as the “B and C” teams of the BJP since they distanced themselves from the Gupkar Alliance, a coalition of regional and national parties demanding return of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy revoked by the federal government in August 2019.
Abdullah accused the BJP of attempting to field proxy candidates from the regional parties instead of running their own.
However, at least two senior politicians from the BJP have previously told Sputnik the party will field candidates on all seats in Jammu and Kashmir and neighbouring Ladakh.

The Complication

With this announcement the two main regional political parties, NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), finalised their candidates for the upcoming general elections for the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian parliament.
Since the NC and PDP spearheaded the Gupkar Alliance, it was expected the parties would enter a seat-sharing arrangement and divide at least three parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir among themselves — leaving the two seats in Jammu and one in the Ladakh region for the Indian National Congress (INC).
Instead, the NC and INC entered a seat-sharing arrangement, with the former deciding to contest all three Kashmiri seats and the INC the remaining three.
The PDP was left alienated. The party, like the NC, is part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, a pan-Indian opposition bloc.
Eventually the PDP announced it would field candidates in all three Kashmiri seats. As things stand, former state chief Mehbooba Mufti will face prominent tribal politician Mian Altaf of NC in South Kashmir. PDP youth leader Waheed Para will face NC’s Aga Ruhullah in Srinagar.
However, this is not the only complication.
While the Congress party and NC have announced they will support each other’s candidates, the PDP — despite being left out — has said the party will support Congress candidates in Jammu and Ladakh.
The sincerity of the statements by the political parties has been questioned by the BJP on several occasions who have accused the opposition of misleading voters.

The Future

Multiple sources in the NC and PDP told Sputnik India that, while the parties did not reach a seat-sharing arrangement in the Lok Sabha elections, they have not closed the door entirely on forging an alliance for the state assembly elections whenever they are held.
However, it remains to be seen whether the bitter fight that will take place in the next month will leave any scope for resuscitating the Gupkar alliance before the state assembly elections.
Modi visited Srinagar city on Thursday. - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.03.2024
Kashmir News
Modi on Inaugural Visit to Kashmir Following Article 370 Abrogation
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