Leaving a possibility for a tie-up with the Congress, the National Conference’s parliamentary board Monday authorised the party president Farooq Abdullah to take a final decision on “any coalition with secular forces” for the upcoming LokSabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Headed by Abdullah, the parliamentary board—the party’s highest decision-making body—met here to discuss the candidature for the upcoming general elections and the possibility of an alliance with the Congress.
On Sunday, NC vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah revealed that his party had received a proposal for an alliance in J&K from the Congress. “We have told them clearly that only National Conference candidates will be there on the three seats in Kashmir Valley,” he was quoted as saying by a news agency.
“If it suits them (Congress), then we can talk about other seats. Let’s see what response we receive,” Omar had said.
Later, J&K Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, however, said his party was “committed” to contest on four seats and leave only two seats for the National Conference, hinting that it wasn’t ready to concede all the three Valley seats to the NC.
In a statement issued this evening, after the parliamentary board meeting, the National Conference said the board members were “unanimously” of the opinion that the party should contest on all six parliamentary constituencies.
However, at the same time, the board authorised the NC president to take a final decision on “any coalition with secular forces taking into account national political situation”.
“The parliamentary board will meet again, possibly tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the issue,” said NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, who attended the meeting Monday, along with other members.
To a question about possibility of alliance with the Congress, Sagar said: “We have put forth our proposal. Let’s see what happens”.
“There is still possibility (for a tie up),” he responded to another question.
The parliamentary board decided to field senior Abdullah and Muhammad Akbar Lone as candidates for the Srinagar-Budgam and Baramulla constituencies respectively.
While Abdullah is a sitting MP from Srinagar, Lone will be contesting his maiden parliament elections after his hat-trick of wins in the state Assembly elections from Sonwari constituency in Bandipora.
“Names of the candidates for other constituencies will be finalised in the next meeting,” said the party statement.