Congress, National Conference announce pre-poll alliance in J&K





The Congress and the National Conference (NC) announced an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir and with Congress set to contest from Jammu and Udhampur while NC chief Farooq Abdullah will contest from Srinagar.

Meanwhile, both the parties will field their respective candidates in Anantnag and Baramulla constituencies in a contest that would be ‘friendly’ and it will be a ‘win-win’ situation if any of them is victorious from these two seats.

The fate of Ladakh seat is yet to be finalized among both the partners. Jammu and Kashmir has six parliamentary constituencies.

The poll tie up was formally announced at a joint press conference of the NC and Congress in Jammu on Wednesday, in which NC Chief Farooq Abdullah and Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad represented their parties.

“Jammu and Udhampur will be contested by Congress, I will contest from Srinagar and there will be a friendly contest between NC and Congress in Anantnag and Baramulla. We are also discussing the Ladakh seat,” said Farooq Abdullah.

“The alliance has been finalised in the national interest and will strengthen the secular forces in Jammu and Kashmir as the state faces threat from Pakistan,” Azad said.

Earlier, Anantnag Lok Sabha seat has been a bone of contention between the NC and Congress. After NC announced its candidate on the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat speculations rife that alliance will reach a dead end.

“Friendly contest means that there will be no cut-throat contest between us on these two seats (Anantnag and Baramulla). If either Congress or NC wins, it’s a win-win situation for both of us,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Sunday said the Congress party had approached them for an alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Jammu and Kashmir will vote for the Lok Sabha Elections in five phases – April 11, 18, 23, 29 and May 6. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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