No pre-poll alliance on Lok Sabha elections yet, talks on with Congress: Dr Farooq

Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Mar 13: With the reports that the National Conference and Congress has agreed to field joint candidates on few Lok Sabha seats in the coming elections, the National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah Wednesday though admitted that talks were on with the congress, but ruled out any pre-poll alliance yet.
In a brief chat with a news agency, Farooq Abdullah said: “No alliance has taken place yet. Once any such development will happen, we will let you know,”
However, NC president admitted that the talks between the Congress and National Conference regarding a pre-poll alliance in the state were going on.
Sources said that the National Conference parliamentary board meeting, is going to take place within two to three days under the leadership of Dr Farooq Abdullah. “The meeting is crucial in the nature of deciding any alliance for the Lok Sabha elections. The board will also decide the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections,” one of the senior leaders of National Conference on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile if reports are to be believed then both parties National Conference and Congress were expected to contest three seats each. However, reports said the NC is keen on contesting a seat from the Jammu region this time. “The NC wants to join the fray from the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency. It wants to leave the Udhampur-Doda seat for the Congress,” said a source.
There are six Lok Sabha seats in the state, three Baramulla, Srinagar and Anantnag in Kashmir, two Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Doda in Jammu, and one in Ladakh. The NC had already announced its decision to contest from Baramulla and Jammu-Poonch, without consulting the Congress whereas NC president Farooq Abdullah, who is the sitting Srinagar MP, will be contesting from the same constituency.
The Congress may get the chance to contest from Anantnag, Udhampur and Ladakh seats, but a few party leaders are not happy in giving the Jammu-Poonch seat to the NC as it had won it in 2004 and 2009 elections.
Six seats of J&K will be going to the polls in first five phases, from April 11 to May 6. The Jammu-Poonch and Baramulla seats will see voting on April 11 followed by Udhampur-Doda and Srinagar seats in second phase on April 18. The Anantnag seat will be going to the polls in three phases, April 23, 29 and May 6 whereas the Ladakh seat will see voting on May 6. (KNS)