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J&K polls: Omar files nomination

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
November 03, 2008 22:03 IST
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National Conference president Omar Abdullah on Monday filed nomination papers from north Kashmir Ganderbal constituency.

Omar had lost the seat to People's Democratic Party candidate Qazi Mohammad Afzal during 2002 assembly polls, which proved crucial in the formation of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP Congress coalition government that ruled the state for nearly six years.

The PDP has again fielded Qazi, who held the forest department portfolio in the Congress-PDP coalition government against Omar from Ganderbal.

Scores of NC workers chanting slogans accompanied Omar to the office of the returning officer even though the town observed a complete shut down and Omar didn't receive the expected welcome from the locals.

"People of Ganderbal were angry with us for the mistakes we made last time, and they punished us for that," Omar told media persons after filing his nomination papers.

"We have learnt the lessons and we have come again and hope people will vote for us this time to enable us to serve them and make Ganderbal a model constituency."

Omar, however, did contest the 2004 parliamentary elections for the prestigious Srinagar constituency, which he won and continues to be the MP.

The PDP candidate from Ganderbal Qazi Mohammad Afzal has been in the throes of a controversy involving allotment of land to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board during his tenure as the state forest minister.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar