Srinagar: The national conference- Congress bonhomie for the forthcoming LS polls in Srinagar has made the fight between the incumbent regime and the opposition worthy to watch with both sides pinning hopes of registering triumph on April 9, this year, a day when polls for Srinagar are slated to be held.
On February 19, this year, ruling PDP’s Srinagar Candidate, Nazir Khan Khan joined the party with none other than chief minister Mehbooba Mufti welcoming him into the fold.
Khan’s joining in the ruling PDP came on a day when PDP’s founding member and former MP from Srinagar Tariq Karra joined Congress. The political experts that time termed Khan’s joining the PDP a ‘big blow’ to Congress. Khan had earlier, in 2014 assembly elections, given tough fight to then chief minister Omar Abdullah in Beerwah constituency. It was with the margin of mere 910 votes that Omar managed to secure the seat.
Sources within the PDP revealed that Khan has a strong foothold in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district wherefrom the party is sure of him securing atleast 50 thousand votes including from the Chrar-e-Sharief area. “As city usually boycotts the elections and the voting percentage too has remained meagre so far, the party is sure to get no less than five thousand votes from the summer capital alone,” sources divulged.
Also, as per reports, PDP is banking heavily on Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal constituency wherein it claims to be having “strong foothold”. Though its candidate, Qazi Afzal lost the 2014 polls but that was with the very thin margin. “The difference was mere 600 votes between PDP’s Qazi and the winning candidate Ashfaq Jabbar. We are sure to get a good number from Ganderbal this time,” sources said.
It was informed further that after thorough closed door meetings, the poll arithmetic was in favour of Nazir Khan and that it would be safe to bank on him.
Khan, 52, a resident of Aripanthan, Beerwah remained with Congress for a long time and strengthened the party at grass roots. “It was more of a local factor than the party that has been siding with Khan all the time. He has the local factor involved in his Beerwah constituency due to which he managed to give a tough fight to the then chief minister Omar Abdullah in 2014 assembly elections,” says a PDP worker wishing not to be named.
In his poll affidavit that he submitted in 2014 polls, Khan has declared the value of his assets as Rs 50 Lac that included the cultivable land and a custodian flat at Sanat Nagar- Srinagar. His educational qualification is post-graduation in History from Moulana Azad National Open University.
During the 2014 assembly elections, Khan had secured 22807 voters with 33.2 percent of vote share in his kitty. Omar had a close shave, getting 23717 votes that were mere 910 votes more than Nazir Khan. At the same time, PDP’s own candidate Dr Shafi Ahmad Wani exhibited poor performance, securing mere 17554 votes.