BJP Fields Candidates For Two RS Seats From J&K; Azad Cong-NC Nominee

27 January 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday fielded two candidates from Jammu and Kashmir for the February 7 polls for Rajya Sabha where four seats are going to fall vacant next month. The declaration of candidates by BJP for two seats comes even as it is in talks with PDP for formation of government in the state. The elections have been necessitated as four seats from the state are going to fall vacant with the expiry of terms of Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saif-ud-Din Soz on February 10 and National Conference (NC) leaders G N Ratanpuri and Mohammad Shafi on February 15. Azad will be the Congress-NC joint candidate for Rajya Sabha polls. BJP nominated Shamsher Singh Manhas and Chander Mohan Sharma as party candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election, a party release said here. While Manhas is BJP national executive member and former Jammu and Kashmir unit president, Sharma is also a senior party leader from the state. Sharma has also served as former Yuva Morcha president of the party in the state. The election to the Council of States for electing four new members in the Upper House would be held on February 7 and the last date of filling nominations is Wednesday. BJP has 25 MLAs in the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly while PDP 28 MLAs. PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed confirmed last week that the two parties are holding 'track-II' dialogue on formation of government in the state which is under Governor's Rule since no popular government could be formed after the hung poll verdict that came on December 23.