SRI NAGAR: Ahead of the February 7 Rajya Sabha elections in J&K, political alliances are beginning to take shape as the BJP, like the PDP, which is holding government formation talks with the saffron party, has decided to contest two out of the four RS seats in the state while the National Conference and its former ally Congress have also decided to join hands to support the candidature of Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The BJP on Tuesday nominated senior leaders of J&K chapter of the party Shamsher Singh Manhas and Chander Mohan Sharma as the candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in the state.
Singh is a former J&K BJP president and current national executive member while Sharma is also a senior party leader and had served as a former Yuva Morcha president in J&K.
The elections to the four seats will be held on February 7 and have been necessitated as the terms of Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saif-ud-din Soz are expiring on February 10 and the National Conference’s Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri and Mohammad Shafi Uri on February 15.
The BJP has decided to contest two RS seats as the PDP, with whom it is engaged in government formation talks for about a month now, had already decided to contest two seats. The party had left two seats for its prospective alliance partner.
“It is not possible for us to win all the four seats so we decided to contest only two seats, leaving the other two for our prospective alliance partner. We are hopeful that with the support from other parties, we will win the two seats,” PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar had said.
The BJP-PDP combine is surely to win three out of the four RS seats as in the 87-member J&K Assembly, the PDP has 28 seats while the BJP has 25. The NC and the Congress have 15 and 12 seats respectively while the smaller parties and Independents together have seven seats.
If the BJP wins one or more RS seats in the state, it would be for the first time in J&K’s history that the candidates of the saffron party make it to the Upper House of Parliament from the state.