SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will contest Assembly elections from Sonwar and Beerwah instead of family’s traditional Ganderbal seat in central Kashmir.
“National Conference’s Parliamentary Board under the chairmanship of working president Omar Abdullah met today and cleared 22 names for Assembly elections of which 15 will contest from Kashmir and remaining from Jammu region,” NC’s General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said.
Omar had won 2008 elections from Abdullah family’s traditional Ganderbal seat after losing his maiden Assembly elections from the same place in 2002 to PDP’s Qazi Mohammad Afzal.
Nearly after four decades none of the Abdullah family member will be contesting from Ganderbal.
Omar’s grandfather and NC founder late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah contested and won elections from Ganderbal in 1975 and 1977. Omar’s father Farooq Abdullah had won elections from Ganderbal in 1983, 1987 and 1996.
Omar was the first person from Abdullah family to lose election from Ganderbal.
Ganderbal is also known as “King’s seat” because it used to give Chief Minister to the State.
Instead of Omar, NC has given mandate to Sheikh Ashfaq Jabbar to contest from Ganderbal. He is a former Congress man, who had fought 2008 Assembly elections against Omar and lost, Now he will be contesting against PDP’s Qazi Mohammad Afzal.
Sonawar constituency, one of the constituency from which Omar will be contesting, is considered as NC’s safe seat . It is being represented in the Assembly by NC’s Mohammad Yasin Shah while Beerwah is represented by PDP’s Mohammad Shafi Wani in the Assembly.
Omar’s uncle and firebrand NC leader Mustafa Kamal will contest from Gulmarg Assembly seat in North Kashmir. He represented Hazratbal constituency in Srinagar in the Assembly.
From Hazratbal seat, NC has given mandate to Mohammad Sayeed Akhoon. Former NC MP Dr Mehboob Beg, who lost last parliamentary elections from South Kashmir’s Anantnag-Pulwama seat to PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, will be contesting from Anantnag seat.
NC also nominated Aga Syed Mehmood from Pattan seat, Ali Mohammad Dar from Chadoora, Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri (M) from Pulwama, Peer Afaq (sitting MLA) from Zadibal, Sheikh Rafi from Shopian, Mohammad Ashraf Ganai from Sopore, Kafeel-ur-Rehman from Karnah, Mohammad Abdullah Wani from Bandipora, Wali Mohammad from Langate, Mirza Abdul Rashid from Rajouri, Riyaz Bhaderwahi from Bhaderwah, Sansar Chand from Chenani, Ch Salaam Din from Inderwal, Sureinder Singh Bunty from Gandhi Nagar, Ms Shakti Bala from Chhamb and Dr Shamshad Shan from Gool-Arnas.