Kashmir By-polls Likely To Decide Political Fortune Of NC, PDP
6 April 2006
Srinagar: The upcoming by-polls on three assembly segments in Kashmir Valley are likely to be an acid test for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sources within party circles said that both ruling and opposition parties are ready to put everything at stake in the upcoming elections so as to win back the confidence of constituents. If political observers are to be believed, the elections in three constituencies in Kashmir Valley will determine the fortune of the the PDP. The three constituencies that are to go to the polls on April 24 are Pattan, Sangrama and Rafiabad. The Rafiabad and Pattan seats fell vacant after the sitting legislators, Muhammed Dilawar Mir and Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, quit the main opposition. The National Conference (NC), which has kept all its cards close to its chest, has clearly indicated that it would support and back the son of former PDP minister S Shaoib who has to battle with PDP candidate Baig, a close relation of the deputy chief minister. On the other hand, the outcome of the elections for the two seats of Pattan and Rafiabad can be judged only after the final decision from Congress is announced.