Peoples Conference Seeks Apni Party's Support in North Kashmir for 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

Ahead of 2024 polls, Peoples Conference seeks Apni Party's support in North Kashmir to challenge NC's dominance. Shifting alliances and vote consolidation efforts could reshape J&K's political landscape.

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Peoples Conference Seeks Apni Party's Support in North Kashmir for 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

Peoples Conference Seeks Apni Party's Support in North Kashmir for 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

In a strategic move ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary elections, Peoples Conference (PC) President Sajad Lone has sought the support of Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari in North Kashmir's Baramulla constituency. Lone aims to consolidate votes and counteract the historical advantage of the National Conference (NC) due to vote fragmentation.

Addressing a large gathering of PC workers in Nihalpora Pattan, where senior political leader Riyaz Ahmad Sheikh and prominent social activist Irshad Pandit officially joined the party, Lone presented a statistical analysis indicating the NC's waning dominance in the region. He highlighted that despite the NC securing nine out of ten Baramulla Parliamentary seats since 1975, their vote share has decreased from 65% in 1982 to a mere 29% in the 2019 elections.

Lone attributed this decline to vote fragmentation, emphasizing that in the 2019 elections, while the NC secured only 29% of the vote, a substantial 71% of voters rejected their mandate. He criticized the NC's decades-long rule, accusing them of creating 'martyrs graveyards' in Kashmir, implementing oppressive laws, and being complicit in the abrogation of Article 370.

Why this matters: The upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir hold significant importance, being the first Parliamentary polls since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. The political alliances and vote consolidation efforts could potentially reshape the region's representation in the Parliament and impact the future discourse on key issues affecting the state.

Lone affirmed that the PC leadership had engaged in constructive discussions with Apni Party representatives, focusing on forging a strategic alliance to thwart the forces that have consistently disregarded the Kashmiri people's valuable mandate. He extended the PC's hand to the Apni Party, seeking their support in Baramulla while pledging to reciprocate in Srinagar.

However, the NC Vice President Omar Abdullah criticized Lone's move, stating that it vindicates the fact that the PC is losing ground in the region. Abdullah accused the BJP and its 'proxy' parties of trying to defeat the NC and the INDIA bloc, but expressed confidence that the people will vote in favor of their candidates.

The article also mentions a seat-sharing tussle between the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) within the INDIA bloc. Abdullah stated that the seats are being divided through a set formula agreed upon by every constituent, but it couldn't be materialized at the regional level.

As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections approach, the political landscape in North Kashmir is witnessing significant shifts and alliances. Sajad Lone's Peoples Conference is actively seeking the support of Altaf Bukhari's Apni Party to consolidate votes and challenge the National Conference's historical dominance in the Baramulla constituency. With accusations of vote fragmentation and the NC's alleged misrule, the upcoming polls are set to be a closely contested battle that could potentially redefine the region's political representation.

Key Takeaways

  • Sajad Lone's PC seeks Apni Party's support in Baramulla to counter NC's dominance.
  • NC's vote share in Baramulla declined from 65% in 1982 to 29% in 2019.
  • Lone criticizes NC's 'martyrs graveyards', oppressive laws, and Article 370 abrogation.
  • NC's Omar Abdullah accuses BJP's 'proxy' parties of trying to defeat NC and INDIA bloc.
  • Upcoming LS polls in J&K could redefine the region's political representation.