Ghulam Nabi Azad Says Might Not Contest J&K Polls

'Not Taken A Final Call': Ghulam Nabi Azad Says Might Not Contest J&K Polls


Ghulam Nabi Azad, who formed his own party after quitting the Congress, may not contest the coming general election, even though his name has been announced by the party he has founded.  Mr Azad’s party, the Democratic Progressive Azad Party or DPAP, has announced his candidature from Anantnag- Rajouri constituency.

“I’m yet to decide if I will contest or not.  My party has announced it but I have not taken a final call,” Mr Azad told NDTV.

The contest in Anantnag is expected to be his first test of popularity in Jammu and Kashmir since he quit the Congress in 2022.

Anantnag — a disputed seat between the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party — will become a three-way contest if Mr Azad joins the fray.

After failing to come to an understanding over seat-sharing with INDIA bloc allies, PDP will be contesting solo. The party has announced its chief Mehbooba Mufti as the candidate from Anantnag.

The National Conference, which announced its seat-sharing agreement with the Congress today, will also contest the seat.

Party chief Omar Abdullah scoffed at the DPAP chief’s remark. Mr Azad has “got instructions from the BJP,” he told reporters. “His party announced and it is quite ingenious on trying to back out and say he hasn’t made up his mind,” Mr Abdullah said.

“We will take a call on having an alliance for assembly elections after parliament elections,” added the former Chief Minister.

Mr Azad, also a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, had held a series of public meetings earlier to gauge voters’ reactions.

“Lots of people are asking me to contest. Demand of my being in parliament is there… but there are voices who want me contest Assembly elections,” he had told NDTV.

J&K — stripped of its special status under the Constitution’s Article 370 in August 2019 and carved into two union territories — has not had an assembly election for six years.

Last year, the Supreme Court, hearing a clutch of petitions on the subject, said an assembly election had to be held by September 30.

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