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I’m in comfortable situation, says Mian Altaf

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Anantnag: National Conference candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat Mian Altaf Ahmad on Monday said he is in a “comfortable situation” as he is the most acceptable candidate among the contestants on both sides of the Pir Panjal range.
“I am in a comfortable situation and I feel I am acceptable on both sides — Anantnag-Kulgam as well as Rajouri-Poonch. My assessment might be wrong, but I think the other parties contesting here do not have as much acceptability on both sides,” Ahmad told reporters here while on campaign trail.
Following the delimitation exercise undertaken after the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat has been carved out by cobbling together Anantnag and Kulgam districts from the erstwhile South Kashmir constituency and Rajouri and Poonch district of Jammu Lok Sabha constituency. The National Conference (NC) leader, who hails from Kangan assembly segment in central Kashmir Ganderbal district, dismissed suggestions that any of the contesting candidates was an outsider.
“I respect all my opponents. (Ghulam Nabi) Azad is contesting from here. It is not as if he is making a mistake. He has a right to contest. He has contested from Maharashtra also. My father (Mian Bashir Ahmad) contested from Darhal (Rajouri) and won from there.
“A former chief minister (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed), who I respect, contested from UP while Mehbooba Mufti herself contested from Wachi (Shopian). I do not want to comment on these issues,” Ahmad said while listing two other Lok Sabha members who represented the South Kashmir constituency but did not hail from here.
The NC candidate said his focus will be on undoing the decisions taken by the Centre in August 2019 by abrogating Article 370 and downgrading a full-fledged state into two Union territories.
“I will try to reach out to each and every block and tehsil in the constituency. I will listen to the people about their issues but the main focus will be to right the wrongs that were committed after August 2019, the uncertainty that is prevailing, the downgrading of a full-fledged state into two Union territories. The people have not accepted this decision.
“In terms of development, I will replicate in the Parliament constituency what I have done in my assembly constituency (Kangan). I have listened to the poor, the youth and unemployed which resulted in people voting for me time after time.
“But all this is possible only when the political uncertainty ends. You can see this uncertainty in Ladakh and Jammu while it is there in Kashmir also,” he added.

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