Congress, NC tie up for Lok Sabha polls

Jammu, March 7: The ruling National Conference (NC) and Congress alliance in Jammu and Kashmir has forged an electoral alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, and a formal announcement is likely to be made Friday, Congress sources told IANS here.

While the NC has already announced its candidates for Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla seats, the Congress is yet to pick its candidates for Lok Sabha seats from the state.

At a meeting in Jammu city Thursday night, the Congress sources said, an informal understanding was reached on seat sharing between the NC and Congress.

“The formal announcement to this effect will be made in New Delhi and this would be followed by the announcement of the names of the candidates for the seats the Congress would fight in alliance with the NC in the state”, a top Congress leader told IANS.

While the NC has repeated its candidates, Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar, Mehboob Beg from Anantnag and Sharief Din Shariq from Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley, the Congress is likely to repeat its candidates Madan Lal Sharma from Jammu and Chowdhary Lal Singh from Udhampur.

The Ladakh Lok Sabha seat would also be fought by a Congress candidate with the support of the NC. That would split the six Lok Sabha seats from the state equally between the two alliance partners.

Sources in both the NC and the Congress have said an alliance for the forthcoming state assembly elections due towards the end of this year would depend on the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections.

“It will definitely depend on how well does the Lok Sabha electoral alliance work out for the two parties,” a senior NC leader told IANS here.

Once a formal announcement on poll tie-up is made, it would be for the third time that the Congress would be fighting the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with a regional party in Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2004, the Congress fought the parliamentary elections in alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party while it fought the 2009 elections in alliance with the NC.

IANS