National Conference, Congress agree to share seats for by-polls  in J&K

14 March 2009
The Hindustan Times

Jammu: The National Conference (NC) and the Congress have reached an agreement to share seats for by-elections in Jammu and Kashmir, necessitated after two former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad vacated their assembly seats on being elected to the Rajya Sabha. The NC will contest two of the three assembly seats going to polls. According to party sources, it has got the go-ahead from its ally Congress to contests polls in Sonwar and Hazratbal in Srinagar district. Both these seats were won by Farooq Abdullah. Ghulam Nabi Azad had resigned from the Bhaderwah assembly seat, which has been earmarked for his Congress party. Bhaderwah will go to polls April 23, when Lok Sabha elections to Doda-Udhampur would also be held in the second of the five-phase polls to parliament. Elections to Sonwar and Hazratbal seats would be held May 7, when Srinagar-Budgam constituency will vote in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress and the NC, however, are yet to finalise their seat sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections. Jammu and Kashmir has six Lok Sabha seats and these will go to polls in five phases beginning April 16.