Voting for four Rajya Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir began Saturday. Eighty-seven members of the legislative assembly form the electoral college.
Seven candidates – two each from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Conference and one from the Congress – are in the fray.
Voting started at 9 a.m. at the state legislature complex here and it will end at 4 p.m. The results will be announced in the evening.
The PDP and the BJP are fighting these elections jointly, each fielding two candidates for the four seats.
The National Conference has announced support to Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Congress’ Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, who is seeking re-election as his present term ends in February.
National Conference president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah was among the first to cast his vote. He said he is sure of Azad’s victory with his party’s support.
He questioned the secrecy being maintained by the BJP and the PDP over their alliance to form the next state government in the state.
“What are they shying away from now when their alliance is already known to everybody,” he said.
The former chief minister confirmed his party would sit in the opposition in the assembly.
On being asked about the Delhi polls Saturday, he said he would take the media poll surveys, predicting a clear win for the Aam Aadmi Party, with a pinch of salt.
“In assembly elections, you had given us only five, but we got 15 (seats),” he said.