Constituency to witness triangular fight between NC, PDP, Apni Party; BJP yet to announce candidate

Srinagar, Apr 12 :

The Election Commission of India has issued a notification for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, scheduled for polling on May 07, 2024.

With the issuance of the notification, the nomination process for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat commenced on Friday.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the high-profile seat is anticipated to witness a triangular contest between Mian Altaf of the National Conference, Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Zaffar Manhas of the Apni Party. However, the Democratic Party of Azad Kashmir (DPAP) has also named Gh Nabi Azad as their candidate, although Azad himself is yet to confirm his candidacy.

Mian Altaf holds significant influence among the Gujjar community, while Zaffar Manhas is expected to garner support from the Pahari community.

Political analysts suggest that the non-residency status of both Mian and Manhas could provide a slight advantage to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Nonetheless, the National Conference (NC) boasts several former MLAs and MLCs from the same seat, whose campaigning efforts will play a pivotal role in determining Mian’s prospects.

Leaders such as Dr Bashir Ahmad Veeri, Altaf Kaloo, Ab Majeed Larmi, Peer Mohammad Hussain, Syed Tawqeer, Imran Nabi Dar, Sakeena Yatoo, Showkat Ahmad Ganaie, and others, who have long been associated with the NC, are expected to mobilise support in their respective constituencies.

The Congress holds sway in certain segments of the constituency, such as Dooru, and its support and campaign for the NC could prove beneficial. The upcoming elections will be a litmus test for the Apni Party’s leaders as they endeavour to garner support in their respective constituencies, having switched allegiances from different political parties.

A lot will depend on Rafi Ahmed Mir, Ab Raheem Rather, Ab Majeed Padder and Choudhary Zulafkar as they are the big faces of the party in this segment who all have joined the Apni Party after quitting PDP.

For PDP, there are just a few assembly segments like Bijbehara and Zainapora where they can get lead and a lot will depend on their campaign now.

Notably, the scenario may shift if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominates a strong candidate, particularly considering the significant Pahari vote bloc in the region, which has shown enthusiasm following the government’s announcement of reservations for the community.

The Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat comprises a total of 1,925,450 votes, with approximately 11 lakh votes from South Kashmir and over 8 lakh votes from Rajouri and Poonch districts.

The notification issued by Returning Officer Syed Fakhr-ud-Din Hamid stipulates that nomination papers must be submitted to the Returning Officer (Deputy Commissioner) Anantnag or the Assistant Returning Officer (Assistant Commissioner, Revenue) Anantnag at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office between 11:00 am and 03:00 pm by April 19, 2024.

Nomination papers will undergo scrutiny on April 20, 2024, at 10:00 am, and the deadline for withdrawal of candidature is April 22, 2024, before 03:00 pm. In the event of a contested election, polling will be conducted on May 7, 2024, between 07:00 am and 06:00 pm—(KNO)


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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