Don’t Want To Contest From Udhampur: Azad

Don’t Want To Contest From Udhampur: Azad

14 March 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Nowshera: Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said he did not want to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Udhampur-Doda segment despite the fact that Congress workers were exerting pressure on the party leadership to field him for this prestigious seat. He, however, said he would abide by the decision of the high command. “I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Congress workers who have been urging the high command to field me on the Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat,” Azad said while interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of a function organised to formally kick-start the election campaign for the coalition in the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency. Azad said he had to campaign for more than 100 Lok Sabha seats across the country so it was “impossible for me to spare time for any particular segment”. “I know that with the support of party workers I can comfortably win the election from the Udhampur-Doda seat, but for me the party is more important,” he said. “I can contribute my 38 years of political experience for the party in different parts of the country and the party is my priority.” With this statement of Ghulam Nabi Azad, suspense over the Udhampur seat has deepened. Congress workers and leaders from Udhampur, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Kathua and Reasi had recently written to the high command to field Azad from Udhampur. Choudhary Lal Singh is sitting Lok Sabha member from this segment and he has won this prestigious seat twice in succession. Due to the suspense over the seat, the campaign by the Congress had virtually stopped. Azad, who began the campaign for party candidate Madan Lal Sharma, claimed that there was no Modi wave in Jammu and Kashmir. “I can only see National Conference-Congress wave in the state. With the support and cooperation of the workers of both parties, we can easily win all six Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Azad said the National Conference-Congress coalition government had done a commendable job in the state during the last five and a half years and the people would reciprocate in a positive manner.