National Conference-Congress alliance in Jammu and Kashmir hits dead-end over Anantnag seat

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 20 March 2019, 11:53 AM
National Conference was willing to support Congress in the two seats of Jammu and one in Ladakh
National Conference was willing to support Congress in the two seats of Jammu and one in Ladakh

After National Conference announced its candidate for the Anantnag Parliamentary constituency, hopes of a pre-poll alliance between NC-Congress have hit a dead-end. NC on Tuesday fielded former Jammu and Kashmir High Court judge Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi from the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency. The 65-year-old former judge, who retired from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in January 2016, is currently serving as the chairman of Selection-cum-Oversight Committee under the Juvenile Justice Act. NC has now announced candidates for all three seats in the Valley.

"The party has decided to field Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi from the Anantnag-Pulwama parliamentary constituency," NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told reporters at party's head office at Nawai-Subha.

Anantnag Lok Sabha seat has been a bone of contention between the NC and Congress. NC parliamentary board had on Monday decided to field party president Farooq Abdullah from the Srinagar-Budgam constituency and senior leader and former Speaker of the state assembly Muhammad Akbar Lone from the Baramulla-Kupwara Lok Sabha constituency. The NC has not yet announced the candidates Jammu region and one in the Ladakh region of the state.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah had set a precondition to contest all three seats in Kashmir for any alliance to take place. In exchange, NC was willing to support Congress in the two seats in Jammu and one in Ladakh. However, Congress had insisted on contesting from four seats, two from the Jammu region, one from Ladakh and from Anantnag.

NC’s candidate from Anantnag, Justice Masoodi, in October 2015, had ruled that Article 370, granting special status to the state, is permanent.

"Article 370 though titled as 'Temporary Provision' and included in Para XXI titled 'Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions' has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution," a division bench of justices Hasnain Masoodi and Janak Raj Kotwal had ruled.

"It is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation, in as much as Constituent Assembly of the State before its dissolution did not recommend its Amendment or repeal," the bench had added.

First Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:33 AM
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