SRINAGAR: The BJP – alliance partner in the PDP-led government in Jammu and Kashmir – today ruled out a pre-poll alliance with its coalition partner for elections to two Lok Sabha constituencies in the Valley, saying the party would contest the polls independently.
"Asking the workers to gear up for scheduled by-elections for two Lok Sabha seats of Anantnag and Srinagar, BJP State General Secretary (Organisation), Ashok Kaul, today made it clear to the workers that the party will field its candidates to fight on the two seats," a statement from the party said here.
Addressing a workers convention at Dooru in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, Kaul said "there will be no pre-poll alliance with PDP in these two seats". "The party has decided to contest the elections independently by fielding its party candidates. Keeping in view the upcoming by-election in these two important Lok Sabha seats, a high-level meeting was held and party leaders have geared up for discussing probable candidates to contest the by-elections on party ticket," he said.
The BJP leader said a high-level committee would very soon announce the candidates for the two seats. "There is no proposal to go for seat adjustment with the coalition party – PDP," he said. Kaul said the BJP has a "huge party cadre" in central Kashmir and in south Kashmir as well, "so we have decided to contest these elections independently as party, rather than entering into pre-poll alliance with PDP". He asked the party workers to have faith on party leadership in the state for the better functioning of the party.
While Srinagar constituency will go to polls on April 9, polling in Anantnag seat will be held on April 12. Anantnag Lok Sabha seat fell vacant in June last after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti won the Assembly bypolls, as required by law to continue as the Chief Minister. The Srinagar Lok Sabha seat was vacated by former PDP leader Tariq Hamid Karra who had resigned last year in September in protest against alleged "brutalities" on Kashmir protesters.