Omar to be CM candidate, Farooq to move to Rajya Sabha
30 August 2002
The Indian Express
Srinagar: National Conference president and Union minister Omar Abdullah will be the party''s chief ministerial candidate in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections while his father and present incumbent Farooq Abdullah will be moving to Rajya Sabha. ''As of now, I will be the chief ministerial candidate and my father is moving to Rajya Sabha,'' Omar said after the release of NC''s second list of candidates in which his name figured as party nominee from Ganderbal constituency, the traditional seat of his father. However, he said it was not clear whether Farooq Abdullah would be joining the central government as of now. Ganderbal Year Winner Party Candidates Votes Polled 1987 Dr. Farooq Abdullah NC 4 30245 1983 Dr. Farooq Abdullah NC 4 32331 1977 Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah NC 2 26162 1972 Mohd. Maqbool Bhat INC 5 11891 1967 Mohd. Maqbool Bhat Cong - Uncontested Keeping with the policy announced by Omar Abdullah of inducting new faces, several sitting MLAs, including Minister of State for Education Aga Syed Mehmood, have been dropped. The list included names of many young faces, including a woman Shameema Firdous and a new entrant to the party Ghulam Nabi Mir Lasjan. The party sprang many surprises especially in Jammu and Srinagar districts, where it dropped many stalwarts in favour of new faces. Six new faces have been introduced in Jammu and three in Srinagar. Sitting MLA from Amirakadal segment was dropped in favour of Ghulam Nabi Mir Lasjan, son of late Ghulam Mohammad Mir Lasjan, a political stalwart from the Valley and a minister in 1987 Farooq government. In Jammu district, the party replaced almost all candidates who lost in the 1996 elections in an effort to revive the political fortunes of the National Conference on the other side of Pir Panjal range. Among the prominent leaders who have been given party tickets include Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Health Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad, Works Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar, Transport and Information Minister Ajat Shatru Singh and Minister of State for Rural Development Ajay K Sadhotra. The party has fielded Sports Minister Harbans Singh, a member of the Upper House of the state legislature, from the Gandhi Nagar constituency.