| Kashmir by-polls |
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Mar 20: As the National Conference patron and the former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah gets ready to play his last innings prior to his retirement from the politics, the senior leaders of NC, Congress and other parties have joined hands to ensure that Dr Farooq wins Srinagar Parliamentary seat slated to go for polls on April 10. However, to win Srinagar seat, looks like a Herculean task for Dr Farooq.
Sources told Early Times that Dr Farooq has sought assurance from the senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and new entrant into the Congress Tariq Hameed Kara that they would campaign for him.
A source said that none of the NC leaders were in favour of Dr Farooq contesting the forthcoming by-polls for the Lok Sabha as many of them were of the opinion that situation is not conducive. "A few NC leaders were of the opinion that a young face should have been given the chance to contest from Srinagar and veterans could have acted as mentors and guides.
To contest the Lok Sabha by-polls is Dr Farooq's own decision," the source added.
Insiders revealed that feedback provided by the NC workers has disturbed the NC leadership and they fear that winning Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat could prove to be a difficult task. "The prominent Shia cleric and estranged PDP leader Imran Ansari mending fences with the PDP after the assurance from the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that all his concerns woul
d be addressed has added to the woes of NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah who was hoping that Ansari's absence from the scene would help his cause" the insiders added.
Mushkil hain baba!
Ghulam Nabi Azad campaigning for Dr Farooq won't make much a difference. As far as Tariq Karra is concerned he till yesterday used to swear by PDP. Situation and political equations make it clear that Dr Farooq may regret contesting these by-polls.
It's in place to mention here that Imran Ansari had resigned from the cabinet as IT Minister last month after Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, reshuffled her cabinet. He had expressed his displeasure over him not being given the plum ministry. After tendering his resignation he (Imran) left for Iran. After his return the PDP leaders approached him and persuaded him to withdraw his resignation. He met the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti following the meeting he was made the in charge of Srinagar-Budgam Parliamentary constituency.
"Imran enjoys lot of support in central Kashmir's Budgam district. His supporters would vote for the candidate whom Imran would ask them to vote for. Imran taking the charge of PDP's campaign have made the contest more difficult for Dr Farooq Abdullah as Shia votes would now go in PDP's favour," said a politician.
He said, "Ghulam Nabi Azad campaigning for Dr Farooq won't make much of a difference as he has remained outside the state. As far as Tariq Karra is concerned he till yesterday used to swear by PDP. He (Karra) is the one who defeated Dr Farooq in 2014 Parliamentary polls. And this time around he wants to seek votes for the candidate whom he castigated just three years ago. Situation and political equations make it clear that Dr Farooq may regret contesting these by-polls."