JAMMU, Nov 14 (Agencies): Taking the BJP head on, the National Conference, Congress and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) today decided to field heavyweights including three former Ministers, two of whom were in the Cabinet rank, three former legislators, two ex-bureaucrats and a serving KAS officer in the ongoing elections to the District Development Councils (DDCs) while the Jammu -based leaders of NC and Congress have decided to approach all political parties for forming Common Minimum Programme (CMP) for the cause of Jammu region irrespective of their political ideology.
A day after the BJP said it will be fielding political bigwigs including two former Ministers, four ex-legislators and other senior leaders in the DDC elections, the NC-Congress-PDP in their third consecutive meeting in as many days decided to field three former Ministers including Abdul Ghani Malik from Mahore in Reasi district and Shabir Khan in Rajouri in the DDC elections. Malik is from the NC and Khan from the Congress.
Another former Cabinet Minister is likely to contest in Jammu district, insiders told the agency and said three former legislators and two retired IAS officers will jump into the poll pray. A serving KAS officer is likely to quit services and contest the election
in Rajouri district while the wife of late NC leader and former Kalakote MLA MLA Thakur Rashpal Singh (who was also in the rank of Minister) will join the fray from Kalakote.
Devender Singh Rana, provincial president and Rattan Lal Gupta attended the meeting from National Conference while Raman Bhalla and Balwan Singh represented the Congress. Surinder Choudhary and Master Tassaduq Hussain were from the PDP.
As reported, the BJP is likely to field former Cabinet Minister Sham Choudhary in Suchetgarh and ex-Minister Shakti Raj Parihar in Doda besides four former legislators including Bharat Bhushan, Neelam Langeh, Charanjeet Singh Jasrotia and Sofi Yusuf and many other senior leaders in the DDC elections.
In significant development, the Jammu-based leaders of National Conference and Congress reportedly after taking consent from their party high commands, have decided to reach out to all political parties in the Jammu region for unity on the issues of Jammu region irrespective of their political ideology.
“We have decided to approach all political parties in the Jammu region to unite for welfare of the Jammu region including equitable development, equal opportunities, regional autonomy, employment opportunities and protection of identity of the Jammu people even if the parties have different views on Articles 370 and 35-A and other political issues,” the insiders said.
The Jammu-based leaders of National Conference and Congress will approach all parties of the region-irrespective of their political ideology-to set aside their differences and join hands for the cause and welfare of the region. The reach out exercise will start soon, they said, adding the decision has been taken in the interest of Jammu region.
The two parties will propose formation of a Common Minimum Programme for welfare and development of Jammu region.
It may be mentioned here that the National Conference, Congress and PDP are contesting the DDC elections in electoral adjustments with each other in Jammu region.