Jammu: After several days of negotiations with the Congress which showed all elements of one-upmanship, the National Conference finally appears to have succumbed to the pressure as it could get only one clean seat to contest out of six Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Monday the National Conference Parliamentary Board had taken an irreversible decision on contesting four seats as it offered two to the Congress. The party had however left the final decision to NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah.
On Wednesday morning, the Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, together with Ambika Soni and other state leaders, arrived in Jammu for a meeting with Dr Farooq Abdullah.
After a brief meeting at the Abdullah residence in Bathindi suburbs of Jammu, Dr Abdullah, together with Congress delegation led by Azad, announced to the media that NC has given up its claim on Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Doda seats while as there will be a friendly contest between the two parties on Anantnag and Baramulla seats. “Talks are on for similar contest on Ladakh seat”, said Dr Abdullah, as he announced “I will contest on Srinagar seat”.
So, in the final analysis the NC gets only one clean seat out of the six. Congress gets two seats and the both parties fight against each other on the remaining three.
Earlier, it may be recalled, negotiations between Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and NC vice president Omar Abdullah had reached a dead-end after the latter made it a precondition to contest all three seats in the Kashmir valley in exchange for the party’s support to the Congress in the two seats in Jammu and one in Ladakh.
Adamant on his stand, Abdullah said if the proposed formula suits the Congress, only then could the parties hold talks over the three seats in Jammu and Ladakh, which the grand old party is keen on contesting.