NC ready to induct Altaf Bukhari, but with a pre-condition

Srinagar: The National Conference (NC) is ready to take the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and legislator, Altaf Bukhari, into the party, but with a pre-condition that he should contest polls from Hazratbal constituency, party sources revealed to The Kashmir Press.

“Both the sides want to embrace each other,” party sources said.

“We want that Altaf Bukhari should join us”.

Bukhari fought from the Amirakadal constituency on PDP ticket in the year 2014 and won the seat.

According to the political observers, he enjoys a strong support in the constituency which would likely result into his win for the second time during the upcoming polls.

However, sources in the NC said it is highly unlikely that NC is ready to offer him ticket from the Amira Kadal constituency.

“We can’t ask our provincial president, Nasir Sogami to vacate from the Amira Kadal constituency because he is occupying a powerful position in the party,” they said.

“Earlier there appeared to be some sort of consensus within NC that Sogami will be given legislative council seat and Bukhari will contest from the Amira Kadal constituency. But, later, the senior most party leaders agreed upon the fact that that it would be asking too much from Sogami who is a provincial president  of NC.”

Sources said that the NC was ready to give party ticket to Altaf Bukhari for contesting polls from Hazratbal constituency.

“We will make it sure that he wins from that constituency,” party sources said.

“We hope that we arrive at some sort of understanding with Altaf Bukhari soon”.

The relations between the NC and Bukhari started warming up after the NC, PDP and Congress decided to enter into alliance to cobble the government in Kashmir after the PDP-BJP alliance broke down.

The alliance talks were led by Bukhari after it was agreed upon between NC, PDP and Congress that he will also be the chief ministerial candidate for the new coalition government.

The move was later countered by the Governor who dissolved the assembly and imposed governor rule.

Afterwards, Bukhari maintained a distance from the PDP. In his statements, he never mentioned that he belonged to the PDP. He also openly supported NC leader, Omar Abdullah, when he called for a one party rule in Jammu and Kashmir.

Later, the PDP expelled Bukhari for “anti-party activities” and fomenting rebellion within the party.

There are also reports that Bukhari could join a new third front comprising some former ministers and legislators who want to maintain safe distance from Congress and the NC.

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