SRINAGAR: Seven ministers are seeking re-election as Jammu & Kashmir goes to the ? rst phase of polling for 15 seats on Tuesday amid tight security. The ministers, who include Rigzin Jora (Leh), Nazir Gurezi (Gurez) and Akbar Lone (Sonawari), face strong antiincumbency over poor governance particularly during the recent oods. The contest is mainly between ruling National Conference (NC), Congress and opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Of the 15 constituencies, Ganderbal has been in news after CM Omar Abdullah chose not to contest from his family pocket borough, which has elected three generations of his family. Retaining the seat for NC’s Ishfaq Ahmad Sheikh would be an uphill task as he is up against PDP’s Qazi Mohammad Afzal and several Independent candidates.
Residents say Ganderbal could even surprise the two main parties. “This seat will throw a surprise and even an Independent could win given the number of candidates in the fray,” said Gulzar Ahmad of Lar in Ganderbal.