The curtains are likely to fall on Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad’s political career of over three decades as his chances of winning Raj Sabha seat seems bleak with Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) reportedly persuading independents to abstain from voting.
KNS has learnt that MLA Langate Engineer Rasheed has asked Congress to apologize for hanging Afzal Guru if they want his vote for Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Sources said BJP is working hard to ensure Azad’s defeat, which will lead to victory of all four candidates of the BJP-PDP ‘alliance.’
Highly placed sources told KNS on Thursday that BJP rather than seeking votes from independent members were trying hard to enter into a secret pact with them to abstain from voting.
The three independent candidates who are holding key to the Azad’s Raj Sabha seat are M Y Tarigami, Hakim Mohammad Yaseen and Engineer Rasheed.
It is to mention here that Tarigami along with the Hakeem have reiterated their support to Azad. However, sources disclosed to KNS that Rasheed and Hakeem are being persuaded by the top BJP leadership through certain channels to keep them away from the voting. If sources are to be believed the duo Thursday met BJP leaders and one of the three MLA’s even has made his mind to remain absent and not to cast his vote.
Meanwhile, KNS has learnt from the sources that Engineer Rashid has asked Congress to accept hanging of Afzal Guru as their mistake if they want his vote for Azad. “He met one of the Congress leaders on Thursday and told him that if the Party wants his vote then they should apologize for hanging Afzal Guru,” sources said.
While PDP and BJP are contesting two seats each, NC and Congress are fighting on three seats – NC two and Congress one.
The elections are scheduled on Saturday February 7.
Meanwhile, sources told KNS that the BJP-PDP combine on the first seat would poll all 57 votes in favour of the alliance candidate Mir Fayaz Ahmad.
Similarly, on the second seat, sources said that the BJP-PDP alliance would poll all 57 votes for the coalition candidate BJP’s Shamsher Singh Manhas, Thus both these straight contest seats would go to the BJP-PDP alliance, one each to BJP and PDP.
Sources, however, said that as regards the crucial contest on the other two seats, the BJP-PDP alliance would have to reserve 29 votes for the PDP candidate Nazir Ahmad Laway, and 28 votes for BJP’s Chander Mohan Sharma.
“These two candidates PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Laway and BJP’s Chander Mohan Sharma would be declared as winners for getting 29 and 28 votes respectively,” they said.
Sources said with that it is very unlikely that Azad would bag the seat given less numbers available with the party. Congress has only 12 legislators while NC that has assured support to it has 15. With 27 available votes with Congress, the party needs at least three more to sail through.
Meanwhile, the Congress cadres in the state are crossing fingers for the victory of Azad, saying if he loses the battle the Party would lose its face in Jammu and Kashmir.
“30 votes needed to send Azad Sahb again to the Parliament but the arithmetic that emerged after the results of the recently held state elections is making Azad’s win difficult,” one of the Congress leader told KNS and added that though Tarigami and Hakeem Mohammad Yasin have reiterated their support to Azad, the support of one more legislator is needed for his victory.