The ballot battle in the cold desert has turned hot with ruling Peoples Democratic Party rubbishing the charges levelled by National Conference working president Omar Abdullah that the party was campaigning for its alliance partner BJP in Leh council polls. PDP said that the ruling party was fighting the elections “alone” in the cold desert. “We are fighting the elections alone. We have fielded our candidates in eight constituencies. We are not canvassing for alliance partner BJP,” Peer Mansoor Hussian, political secretary to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, told KNS over phone form Leh. Omar Abdullah had on Wednesday that PDP ministers and its leaders were campaigning for the BJP candidates for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council election. The former chief minister while addressing several public meetings in Leh had said that the campaigning has revealed the “total and complete political assimilation of the PDP into the BJP”. “Today the PDP is campaigning more for the BJP than its own candidates here. Almost all PDP ministers are here and their only appeal to the people is to vote for anyone but the National Conference,” he had said. Omar said the PDP leaders were “overtly campaigning for the BJP candidates despite the political suppression of the state by the BJP”. Reacting to the charges, Mansoor siad that being an ex-chief minister, Omar should talk sensibly. “Omar Abdullah has been himself the chief minister of the state, and it does not suit him well if he makes such charges against us. He should talk reasonably,” he said. The PDP leader said that Omar should support his accusations with evidence if he had any. “Let him (Omar) give a single evidence where our leaders have campaigned for BJP,” he said. Leh is slated to go for LAHDC polls on October 17 for 26 seats (Saturday). All the major political parties have been camping in the high-altitude district to campaign for their candidates. BJP and Congress will contest for 25 seats, while PDP and NC are contesting eight seats each. The alliance partners, PDP and BJP, will face each other in seven seats. NC, led by Omar Abdullah, has flown Ali Mohammad Sagar, Nasir Aslam Wani and Aga Syed Ruhullah to canvass for their candidates, while PDP is led by Naeem Akhter and also have Legislative Council Chairman Inayat Ali, Rural Development Minister Abdul Haq Khan, and Peer Mansoor Hussian canvassing for its candidates. Congress is led by Nawang Rigzin Jora and BJP’s Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Avinash Rai Khanna, Sukhnandan Kumar, Minister for PHE and IFC, Thupstan Chhewang, MP form Ladakh, and Minister of State for Education Priya Sethi are addressing their poll rallies.
2015 Kashmir Despatch