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Omar to seek re-election from Srinagar

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | March 23, 2004 17:21 IST
Last Updated: March 23, 2004 18:47 IST

National Conference president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday announced that he would seek re-election from the Srinagar parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir. He made the announcement at a press conference at his heavily guarded Gupkar residence in the summer capital.

His decision has come as a surprise as he had resigned from Union Cabinet to take active interest in state politics and strengthen the party. In the 2002 assembly elections, the party got the most number of seats but failed to form the government. Worse, Abdullah was defeated in the Ganderbal seat.

He also announced the party's candidates for four other constituencies in the state nominating Abdul Rashid Shaheen from Baramulla, Dr Mehboob Beigh from Anantnag, S S Slathia from Jammu and Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy from Udhampur constituency.

The candidate for Leh would be announced after consultations with local leaders.

"Should the polls be free and fair we will do well. However, the way changes have been made in the administration; we fear they (the ruling coalition) may resort to rigging. During the 2002 assembly elections, there was an assurance from the Centre that the polls would be free and fair. However, this time there is no such assurance. We would like the same commitment," Abdullah said.

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