Union Minister, first-time candidates in BJP’s J&K list

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday re-nominated both its sitting MPs from the Jammu region while fielding three first-time candidates from the Kashmir Valley.

The party’s first list of 184 candidates, released in Delhi by senior BJP leader J.P. Nadda, includes Union Minister Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma who will be seeking re-election from Udhampur and Jammu Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Its candidates for Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla seats are all first-timers.

In Srinagar, former journalist and party strategist Khalid Jehangir will face former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference.

Known for his political connections, Jehangir has served as Vice Chairman of the J&K Projects Construction Corporation, a premier government undertaking and been a fellow at a strategic affairs institute in Washington DC.

Sofi Yousuf, fielded from Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, is a former policeman who says he survived two militant attempts on his life. He has fought assembly elections in the past without winning any.

Yousuf is a currently a member of the Legislative Council, the upper house of state’s bicameral legislature.

Muhammad Maqbool War, who will be in the fray from Baramulla seat, belongs to Langate area of Kupwara district and had unsuccessfully contested the last assembly elections as the BJP candidate from Langate against Engineer Rashid.

The BJP has not so far decided on its candidate for the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat.