The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday dismissed reports of an alliance with the Congress and said the party is preparing to contest all the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir. "We are preparing to contest all the six seats," Mehbooba told reporters late Tuesday night. "We had no talks with Congress (on alliance). It is mere speculation. If they want to have an alliance with the National Conference, that is their internal matter," she said. Mehbooba Mufti will also chair a meeting on Wednesday here to finalise the party’s candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Peoples Democratic Party has only named one candidate—former trade union leader, Abdul Qayoom Wani—from Baramulla seat. The party’s chief spokesperson Muhammad Rafi Mir said candidates for the remaining seats will be finalised at a meeting, to be chaired by Mehbooba, on March 20.
There are speculations that Mehbooba Mufti might herself contest the election from southern Kashmir.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister, began the campaign trail from north Kashmir’s Kupwara district but other party leaders stayed put in south Kashmir, holding a party convention in Kulgam district.
The PDP campaign strategy seems to be a mirror image of the NC strategy as the party has focussed on areas where they have lost ground over the years.
Sajad Gani Lone’s People’s Conference has made major inroads in the past five years in Kupwara district while the PDP managed to win only one of the four seats in Kulgam district in the 2014 assembly elections, in spite of a strong wave in its favour at that time.
Replying to a question on the death of a teacher in police custody in Kashmir, she said the incident was unfortunate.
"It will further take children towards violence and terror, as you all know what happened recently in Pulwama, where a youth attacked a CRPF vehicle and brought India and Pakistan to brink of war," Mufti said.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said top industrialists run away with huge money when 'chowidar' kept watching.