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Why did BJP pull out of race in Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir?

Polling in Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat will take place in the third phase on May 7. Jammu and Kashmir has a total of five Lok Sabha seats including Anantnag-Rajouri , Baramulla, Srinagar, Udhampur and Jammu.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 22, 2024 15:51 IST
Representational image
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Representational image

Jammu-Kashmir Lok Sabha Election 2024: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not fielded its candidate in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir. With no BJP candidate on the ground, the key contest in Anantnag-Rajouri, which is set to go for polls on May 7, will now see a direct contest between National Conference and Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) candidates.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti will contest against National Conference’s influential Gujjar leader Mian Altaf. Until recently, both PDP and NC were part of the Opposition's I.N.D.I.A bloc, however, Mehbooba's party pulled out of the alliance after no agreement was reached on seat-sharing.

Apart from PDP and NC, two other prominent candidates including Democratic Party of Azad Kashmir's (DPAP) Mohammad Saleem Parray and Apni Party's Zaffar Manhas are also in the fray in Anantnag-Rajouri seat.

Why BJP pulled out of race in Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat?

  • According to reports, one reason why the saffron party pulled out of direct contest in Anantnag-Rajouri seat is that it doesn't have the cadre base, support in the region. 
  • Another reason which is being speculated is that the BJP wants to back some other candidate and avoid getting into a direct contest with NC and PDP. 

However, BJP workers are not happy with party's decision for not contesting in Anantnag-Rajouri seat as there are a sizeable number of 'pahadis' who are the supporters of the saffron camp and feel that the BJP should have contested the election.

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP contested in all the six parliamentary seats in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Anantnag-Rajouri seat has 18 Assembly segments including: Zainapora Shopian, DH Pora Kulgam, Kulgam, Devsar, Dooru Anantnag, Kokernag (ST), Anantnag West, Anantnag, Srigufwara-Bijbehra, Shangus - Anantnag East, Pahalgam, Nowshera Rajouri, Rajouri (ST), Budhal (ST), Thannamandi (ST), Surankote (ST), Poonch Haveli and Mendhar (ST).

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