NATIONAL

Cong. to support Farooq for RS seat

Jammu Nov. 7. The Congress will contest two seats to the Rajya Sabha and support the candidature of the former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah. The election to the four seats of Rajya Sabha from the State is scheduled on the Nov. 18 and tomorrow is the last day for filing of nominations. Talking to The Hindu here today, the Jammu and Kashmir PCC president, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said "we have decided to contest two seats for Rajya Sabha."

Mr. Azad said "the Congress has decided to support the National Conference nominee, Dr. Abdullah, and the party will not support any other candidate of the National Conference."

Asked whether it was a reciprocal gesture, as in 1996 the National Conference had supported Mr. Azad's candidature he said, "you can call it anything. After all the man is a former Chief Minister and one of the leading politicians of the State — so we should give this concession to him." About the other seats he said, "the party has allocated the seat to the People's Democratic Party and they will decide accordingly, adding that we (coalition) could have contested all the four seats but the party has decided to make this concession to the National Conference.

The coalition claims to have the support of 56 MLAs. Two seats will be decided by the principle of simple majority and the other two in a single sitting of the House. Sources say that efforts are on by the senior leaders of the Congress and the PDP to keep the coalition intact.

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