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ED Summons and Abdullahs: NC's Dilemma Deepens

Amidst political upheaval, the fallout of the INDIA Alliance unfolds as National Conference announces independent Lok Sabha election bids in Jammu and Kashmir. Similar moves witnessed with Trinamool Congress in WB and Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, marking a trend of regional parties asserting autonomy.

ED Summons and Abdullahs: NC's Dilemma Deepens
Source: Twitter

New Delhi: In a significant turn of events, the National Conference (NC) president, Farooq Abdullah, announced on Thursday that the party would independently contest all five Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir. This move triggered reactions from within the INDIA bloc partners, including the Congress, as tensions within the alliance came to the forefront.

 

Farooq's announcement followed just two days after he skipped Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons for the second time within a month. The ED summons were related to a money laundering case linked to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, putting the NC leadership under increased scrutiny.

 

However, party vice-president Omar Abdullah later clarified that the National Conference remains a part of the INDIA alliance. During a press conference in Srinagar, Omar emphasized the party's independent strength in the upcoming elections, stating that discussions with the INDIA bloc on seat-sharing would take no more than 15 minutes. He also expressed the belief that both assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be held simultaneously.

 

Farooq Abdullah, undeterred by the ED summons, addressed the Opposition leaders facing similar situations, stating, "I am not afraid of anybody. I am going to meet them [ED] soon. If they think they will finish NC by putting me in jail, that will never happen. NC is a movement that will continue even without Farooq Abdullah."

 

Notably, the INDIA bloc leaders insisted on the NC sparing the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat for Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and a member of the alliance. This further fueled tensions within the alliance, with Omar Abdullah maintaining that the National Conference would not hold seat-sharing talks for the seats won in 2019.

 

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari criticized the alliances, stating, “These alliances are fooling the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” Former Srinagar mayor Junaid Azim Mattu also declared the end of the INDIA alliance, adding, "What an anticlimax to all the drama!"

 

These developments coincide with similar moves in other states, as the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab have also declared independent strategies, indicating a broader trend of regional parties asserting autonomy in their electoral pursuits. The political landscape in Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a complex interplay of legal challenges, alliance strains, and the assertion of independent political bids by the National Conference, adding layers of uncertainty to the upcoming elections.


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