BJP Withdraws from South Kashmir Seat, Leaving PDP, NC, and Apni Party to Contest

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections in South Kashmir see a three-way contest between PDP, NC, and Apni Party, as BJP withdraws direct participation. The outcome will have significant implications for Jammu and Kashmir's political landscape.

Dil Bar Irshad
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BJP Withdraws from South Kashmir Seat, Leaving PDP, NC, and Apni Party to Contest

BJP Withdraws from South Kashmir Seat, Leaving PDP, NC, and Apni Party to Contest

In a noteworthy development for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has withdrawn from directly contesting the South Kashmir seat, leaving the main contest between Mehbooba Mufti of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Mian Altaf of the National Conference (NC), and Zaffar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party. This decision comes despite the constituency's recent delimitation and the inclusion of Paharis in the Scheduled Tribe category.

Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, is the PDP's candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat. She has emphasized that this election is not about addressing day-to-day development issues but about safeguarding the identity and resources of Jammu and Kashmir. Mufti has urged people to come out and vote in large numbers to support her in addressing the issues faced by the people, including the high unemployment rate and the perceived threat to the region's identity.

The National Conference vice president, Omar Abdullah, has stated that the party's contest in the South Kashmir seat is not with the BJP but with the PDP, which he accused of leaving the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) for the "greed of a seat". Abdullah also claimed that while the BJP is not directly contesting the parliamentary polls in the valley, it is supporting parties like the Apni Party and People's Conference. He expressed confidence that the NC will win all three seats in the Kashmir valley.

Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, the Apni Party candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, believes that his party will win the seat with a convincing margin, despite the perception that it is a contest between the NC and the PDP. Manhas has highlighted his experience in serving the diverse constituents of the region, including Kashmiris, Dogras, Ladakhis, Gujjars, and Paharis, and his involvement in various high-level committees and conferences.

Why this matters: The South Kashmir Lok Sabha seat is a vital battleground in the 2024 elections, as it reflects the changing political dynamics in the region following the abrogation of Article 370 and the recent delimitation. The BJP's decision to withdraw from directly contesting the seat and support smaller parties has added a new dimension to the electoral landscape. The outcome of this election will have substantial implications for the future of Jammu and Kashmir and the political representation of its diverse communities.

As the campaign for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat intensifies, Mehbooba Mufti has raised the pitch for protecting Jammu and Kashmir's identity. She has urged people to thwart attempts being made to "finish"

Key Takeaways

  • BJP withdraws from South Kashmir seat, leaving PDP, NC, and Apni Party to contest.
  • Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) focuses on safeguarding J&K's identity and resources in the election.
  • Omar Abdullah (NC) accuses PDP of leaving PAGD for a seat, claims NC will win all 3 Kashmir seats.
  • Zaffar Iqbal Manhas (Apni Party) confident of winning Anantnag-Rajouri seat despite PDP-NC contest.
  • South Kashmir seat is a vital battleground reflecting changing political dynamics in J&K post-Article 370.