Peoples Democratic Party president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday filed nomination from Anantnag parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. Mehbooba has represented the Anantnag constituency twice in the past - from 2004 to 2009 and from 2014 to 2018. PDP will not be contesting Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats. Mehbooba Mufti is contesting against National Conference’s Husnain Masoodi and Congress candidate Ghulam Ahmad Mir.
Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and polling would be held over seven phases through May 19, followed by counting of all votes on May 23. The assembly elections in four states – Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh – will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held along with the general elections. Since the J&K has been dissolved, the EC is bound to hold fresh polls there as well within a six-month period, which will end in May. The Centre and the state administration, being managed by the Centre-appointed Governor, are against holding the two elections together.
Earlier, hitting back at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for advocating repeal of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said that the relationship between the Union and the state would be over if Article 370 of the Constitution is revoked.
"Jaitley must understand this. It is not an easy thing to say. If you scrap (Article) 370, your relation with J-K will be over," Mehbooba told party workers at her residence here.
Jaitley had on Thursday advocated repeal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and said Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, is "constitutionally vulnerable" and also hampering economic development of the state.
Mehbooba said Article 370 was a bridge between the Union and the state and if the special provision of the Constitution was revoked, then New Delhi would have to "renegotiate" its relationship with Jammu and Kashmir.
The former chief minister has said in case Article 370 is revoked, Jammu and Kashmir will have to rethink whether it wants to stay with India.