Ghulam Nabi Azad returns to the poll arena, to contest the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat

Azad locked in a straight fight with Gujjar leader Mian Altaf Ahmed of the National Conference

Azad locked in a straight fight with Gujjar leader Mian Altaf Ahmed of the National Conference
Azad locked in a straight fight with Gujjar leader Mian Altaf Ahmed of the National Conference

Ghulam Nabi Azad enters Anantnag-Rajouri contest, stage set for prestige battle

Former Congress leader and Chairperson of Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad will be returning to the poll arena in Kashmir valley to test political waters far away from his home constituency in the Lok Sabha polls.

Azad will be facing the litmus test of his political career after leaving the Congress party from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat.

After quitting the Congress party in August 2022, Azad has been working tirelessly on ground zero to raise his party machinery from scratch.

In this pursuit, he has so far organized more than 600 public meetings across the entire Jammu and Kashmir to propagate his party program and development-oriented agenda of the party. Impressed with the response of the common people, Azad decided to take a poll plunge ahead of returning to the Lok Sabha, if elected.

Previously, Azad was defeated by the MoS PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat by a margin of over 60,000 votes.

On Tuesday his name was cleared by the core committee of the party as DPAP candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat.

The announcement was made by the senior party leader and Treasurer Taj Mohiuddin in Srinagar.

Azad locked in a straight fight with Mian Altaf Ahmed of NC

Master strategist, who served the Congress party for over 50 years, Azad will be locked in a straight fight with the National Conference candidate Mian Altaf Ahmed.

So far the Peoples Democratic Party has not announced the name of the party candidate from the same seat.

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti was keen on contesting the seat. However, unrelenting Omar Abdullah went ahead and announced the name of Mian Altaf Ahmed from the Lok Sabha seat spoiling the PDP’s game plan.

Unhappy with the move, PDP is contemplating going solo and putting up a candidate against the JKNC.

To make matters worse and confuse the media, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah Tuesday told reporters Why are you making the PDP fight us? Has the PDP said anywhere that they will contest elections? It is you people who are fuelling this. I heard the speech of Mehboba Mufti in Delhi, she said Farooq sahib and we are together and we will not break the I.N.D.I. Alliance. Why are you trying to make us fight? ” he asked.

Previously, Mehbooba Mufti won the 2014 polls but stood third in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the same seat. In 2019, the seat was won by the National Conference candidate Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi.

Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janta Party too is playing it safe and has yet to make public their poll strategy.

BJP J&K Unit Chief Ravinder Raina on Tuesday said the party high command is expected to announce the names of the party candidates from three leftover seats of Kashmir valley.

Compared to Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mian Altaf Ahmed is more popular in the region as he comes from the politico-religious family of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

His great grandfather, Mian Abdullah Larvi, was a saint with influence on both Gujjar and Pahari communities. His grandfather, Mian Nazim ud Din, had contested as an independent candidate, while his father, Mian Bashir Ahmad, won the Assembly elections from Kangan on the Congress ticket.

The Anantnag constituency, which spreads across the Pir Panjal range to include Rajouri and Poonch areas after the delimitation, will go to polls on May 7 in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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