Now that the three major parties of the state are gearing up for the Rajya Sabha Elections the three MLAs are yet to lay their cards. The lone threat to the BJP, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s fate depends on the decision of the three MLAs including two independents. Congress has the backing of NC and for veteran Congress candidate Azad’s smooth sail in these Elections, he is trying hard to ensure these two votes.
The BJP too has been trying to coax two of them to abstain from voting in the RS elections so as to derail Azad’s entry into the Upper House of Parliament. The three leaders- Udhampur MLA Pawan Kumar Gupta, Langate Legislator Engineer Abdul Rashid and Khan Sahib representative Hakim Mohammad Yasin are yet to announce their mandate.
BJP on the other hand, has already stocked the support of People’s Conference MLAs Sajjad Gani Lone from Handwara and Bashir Ahmad Dar from Kupwara. The independent MLA Agar Baqir Rizvi from Zanskar has claimed his support for the PDP.
To seek their support Azad met Rashid and Yasin two days ago but the two have not yet disclosed their decision. The party leaders are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they grab the three significant votes as the support of these three leaders in crucial to keep Azad away from the Upper House. BJP leaders are hence either trying to woo them or to persuade them to abstain from voting. That is the only way for BJP to stall Azad’s re-entry in Rajya Sabha. The party however is positive about getting Gupta’s vote to ensure the victory of the second candidate as well. The PDP BJP alliance will have to secure 29 votes for PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Laway and 28 for the BJP candidate Chander Mohan Sharma. Azad is expected to get 28 votes which includes 12 from the Congress and 15 from its previous ally- NC). As Sharma and Azad will probably be getting 28 votes each the second preference of PDP MLAs may clinch the victory of the BJP candidate.