Azad to contest LS polls from Anantnag-Rajouri seat

DPAP leaders addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday.
DPAP leaders addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Apr 2: Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) today announced that its president Ghulam Nabi Azad will contest election from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat.
The announcement was made by DPAP treasurer Taj Mohiuddin during a press briefing held in Srinagar this evening.

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Azad, 75, served as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha between 2014 and 2021. He also served as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir from 2005 to 2008.
Azad served as Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. He served as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Manmohan Singh Government until 27 October 2005.
He also led the party successfully in the 2002 Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir. He was bestowed with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2022 by the Indian Government in the field of Public Affairs.
Hailing from Gandoh tehsil (Bhalessa) in Doda district, Azad started his career soon after working as the secretary for the Block Congress Committee in Bhalessa in 1973. Two years later, he was nominated as the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Youth Congress. In 1980, he was appointed as the president of the All-India Youth Congress.
After being elected to the seventh Lok Sabha from Maharashtra’s Washim (Lok Sabha constituency) in 1980, Azad entered into the Central Government as Deputy Minister in charge of Law, Justice and Company Affairs Ministry in 1982.
Subsequently, he was elected to the eighth Lok Sabha in 1984 and was a member (1990 – 1996) from Maharashtra in Rajya Sabha. He was elected to Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir during the term of 30 November 1996 to 29 November 2002 and 30 November 2002 to 29 November 2008, but resigned on 29 April 2006 as he became Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 2nd November 2005.
The National Conference (NC) has also revealed its candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, nominating Gujjar leader Mian Altaf and five-time MLA, for the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are yet to name their candidates for the coveted seat. Speculations abound regarding the BJP’s potential choice of a Muslim candidate, while the PDP, a member of the INDIA bloc alongside the NC, remains tight-lipped about its electoral strategy.
The Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary seat, formed post-delimitation, encompasses Rajouri and Poonch and is slated for voting in the third phase on May 7. As the election fervor picks up, political parties are gearing up for an intense battle, with nominations set to commence on April 12 and conclude on April 19.