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Big Setback To INDI Alliance in J&K: National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party To Rival Each Other In Lok Sabha Elections

Kashmir: In a big blow to the unity of the INDI Alliance, longstanding partners National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have announced their intent to contest against each other in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the PDP, attributed the decision to the National Conference’s inflexibility. “National Conference left us with no alternative but to enter the electoral fray,” stated Mufti. She further declared that her party People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will soon announce all three candidates for Kashmir. 

As a response, Omar Abdullah, the head of the National Conference, issued a stern warning, stating that should the PDP continue with their election campaign, it would effectively close off any possibility of future alliances in assembly elections. “The PDP’s decision forces us to take a tougher stance,” Abdullah declared. 

As both factions prepare for the upcoming election showdown, this internal divide within the INDI Alliance presents concerns regarding the coalition’s durability. 

Mehbooba while talking to reporters said “There was a need to fight polls together due to the situation emerged after August 05, 2019. Everyone has been restricted and no one is allowed to speak. We have been looted. What is left with us? She questioned  

“Had Omar Abdullah consulted with me, PDP would have considered for the larger interest of Kashmir. He took the decision without taking us on board. Due to Omar Abdullah’s remarks against PDP, our workers got hurt. We have attained power two times but still Omar Abdullah is saying PDP is non-existent.” 

Mehbooba expressed that when leadership responsibilities are given to someone, they should ensure justice for all. However, she mentioned that there has been no room left for them to operate. They had expected the National Conference (NC) to prioritise above party interests. She found Omar Abdullah’s press conference unfortunate, where he questioned their credibility. She believed this was unfair to their party members who are enduring challenging circumstances. She stated that now they have no choice but to contest in the elections.  

After Mehbooba Mufti spoke to the media, Omar responded “I have made no remarks about Mehbooba’s party. I have nothing to say on this matter. It is her decision if she wishes to contest for seats in Jammu and Kashmir. We announced candidates based on their formula. We had proposed that candidates for the Lok Sabha should be decided based on the DDC elections. However, the PDP insisted on following the 2014 assembly election results. We selected candidates from the areas where we had won. We kept the doors open, but it seems she has closed them. It appears that there will not be an assembly alliance either,” Abdullah added. 

Meanwhile, Farooq Abdullah, a three-time parliamentarian, has opted out of participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections. His son, Omar, stated that due to health concerns, Farooq Sahab will not be partaking in the elections. The National Conference (NC) has chosen Mian Altaf as their candidate from South Kashmir and is expected to form an alliance with the Congress in the Jammu region. 

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