SRINAGAR: Amid ongoing talks with the Congress leadership over forging a pre-poll alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference on Monday announced candidates for two Lok Sabha seats in the militancy-hit Valley.
The NC parliamentary board members met on Monday under the chairmanship of party president Farooq Abdullah to finalise the names of candidates.
The state has six Lok Sabha seats — three in Kashmir, two in Jammu and Ladakh.
“The parliamentary board decided to field Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar-Budgam constituency and Muhammad Akbar Lone from Baramulla,” an NC spokesman said.
He said the parliamentary board had authorised Abdullah to take a final decision on any coalition with secular forces taking into account the national political situation.
Sources said Congress has told the NC that it was ready to contest three seats and leave three for the NC.
“The Congress wants to contest a seat each in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, leaving two seats in the Valley and one in Jammu for the NC,” said a source.
However, the deal has not been sealed as there is a stalemate over the Anantnag-Pulwama Lok Sabha seat in Kashmir.
“The Congress has asked the NC to contest one of the two seats from Jammu and leave Anantnag seat in the Valley for the party. The decision on alliance is expected in next few days,” a party leader said.
Window for tie-up still open
The NC parliamentary board reportedly decided to contest all six LS seats, but announced candidates for only two seats, thereby leaving the possibility of alliance with the Congress open