Peoples Democratic Party’s Thursday meeting for selecting the candidates for five of the six parliamentary seats of the State could not reach at any consensus even as other parties have already announced their candidates for the polls.
Sources in the party said the meeting presided over by the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti could not arrive at a consensus on the party candidate from Anantnag seat, which was represented by Mehbooba Mufti in 2014 polls till she was sworn in as the chief minister of the State in 2016.
The sources said senior party leaders would sit on Friday for another round of discussion after which the announcement of the candidates would be made.
They said the party was also holding consultations on the possible candidates from the Jammu and Udhampur seats where the party has a significant vote share to affect the outcome of elections.
Earlier this week, Mehbooba had also consulted party leaders from Jammu region.
As per sources, the party has shortlisted names of PDP Vice President and former minister Abdul Rehman Veeri and former Member of Parliament Mehboob Beg along with Mehbooba Mufti herself for the Anantnag seat.
In 2017 by-poll for Anantnag seat, which was later canceled following the deteriorated law and order situation, PDP had fielded Mehbooba’s brother and incumbent MLC, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, who later was sworn in as a cabinet minister in Mehbooba’s government.
For the Srinagar parliament seat, the party has zeroed in on General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone (Hanjura) along with Nazir Ahmad Khan who had unsuccessfully contested the same seat against NC President Farooq Abdullah in 2017 by-poll.
For the Jammu seat, the party is deliberating upon the former minister Chaudhary Zulfikar Ali and Yaspal Sharma’s name.
For Udhampur parliament seat, the party has shortlisted MLC Firdous Tak, who hails from Kisthwar region of Chenab valley.
On Wednesday, NC and Congress announced to fight both Jammu and Udhampur seats together to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which had won both the seats last time around.
PDP contesting from Jammu region could benefit BJP as the party is likely to cut into the vote base of NC-Congress.
PDP’s arch-rival NC has already announced its candidates from the three seats of Kashmir valley while PDP has announced the name of Abdul Qayoom Wani for the Baramulla parliamentary seat represented by PDP Patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig in the last elections.
The polling for the two parliamentary seats of Jammu and Baramulla is scheduled in the first phase on April 11 while the State would have elections in five phases.
In 2014 polls, PDP had won all the three seats of the Valley while their former ally, the rightwing BJP had won two seats of Jammu region and one seat of Ladakh division.
The BJP has fielded Sofi Yousuf for the Anantnag seat, Khalid Jehangir for Srinagar and Muhammad Maqbool for Baramulla.
In Jammu and Udhampur, the party has fielded Jugal Kishore and Jitender Singh. Both the leaders had won the 2014 polls from the same constituencies.