Darakhsan Andrabi, Anwar Khan, Ravinder Raina, Shehaz Ganai front runners; MoS Dr Jitendera Singh likely to play second innings; Jugal Kishore likely to be given rest, Davinder Rana, Kavinder make entry in fresh list; Panel of names sent to Parliamentary panel, final call soon

Jammu and Kashmir BJP has finalised the panel of candidates for the three crucial seats from Kashmir as the list of probable candidates have been forwarded to the head office where the party’s Parliamentary affairs panel will soon take a final call.

Reliable sources within the BJP told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the BJP has shortlisted Darakshan Andrabi, Altaf Thakur, Ashok Bhat and Arif Raja for Central Kashmir parliamentary seat while for the North Kashmir seat, there are three probables that include Anwar Khan, Surinder Ambardar, and Fakir Muhammad Khan.

For Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina has expressed his desire to contest himself while former National Conference MLC Shehaz Ganai, who joined BJP in New Delhi recently, is also in the panel. “There is every possibility that Shehnaz Ganai would be given the party ticket for the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency given her father’s legacy and huge fan following,” said a source in the BJP.

The party leadership in J&K is in constant touch with the BJP leadership in New Delhi. “The list of candidates has been sent to the parliamentary panel of BJP and a final call is expected shortly so that candidates are given time to campaign,” a senior BJP leader said.

He said the BJP is confident to bag all three seats in Kashmir. “Joining prominent faces has given a new impetus to the party and more influential and protuberant people are in the list to join the party in the days ahead,” the leader said.

For two seats in Jammu, the names are being finalised and will soon be sent to the parliamentary affairs panel of BJP in New Delhi. For Kathua-Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, MoS in PMO and incumbent MP Dr Jitendera Singh is all set to be repeated for the seat while as for the Jammu seat, there is a likelihood to replace incumbent MP Jugal Kishore. “Former J&K Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta and Devender Singh Rana are two main contenders for the seat,” sources in the BJP said.