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J-K: BJP in danger of losing Udhampur, claims Omar Abdullah

Pulwama: Responding to the BJP's claim that it was on course to win the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, which it currently holds, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah claimed on Saturday that the ruling party at the Centre was in danger of losing the constituency.
Accusing the BJP state president of pulling out of the race for the South Kashmir constituency, the National Conference leader told reporters in Murran, Pulwama, "I wish to remind Ravinder Raina that the polling has not even begun for the Jammu seat. We don't know how many votes would be cast. The BJP should hold off on its victory claims until all votes are cast. For now, they are in danger of losing Udhampur. The BJP is known to make many tall claims. He (Raina) should come clean on why he withdrew from the field of battle in South Kashmir."
"Ravinder Raina was preparing to contest the South Kashmir seat. Why did he pull out at the last minute? What was the compulsion that they had to eventually turn to other parties such as Bat (the Kashmir Apni Party) or Apple (the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference)? The BJP should not make such claims till the polls are done and dusted," the former CM added.
Accusing the BJP of using local political outfits as its 'B teams', Abdullah said, "When (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah came to Srinagar, he said the BJP was in no hurry to make the 'Lotus' bloom in Kashmir. This means that the BJP has turned to its B and C teams to help them prevail in the elections. They are hiding behind the Bat and Apple symbols going into the elections."
In the 2014 elections, Union Minister and BJP candidate Jitendra Singh bagged 46.8 per cent of the total votes polled in Udhampur against 40.9 per cent of ghulam Nabi Azad, who fought on a Congress ticket.
Polling in Udhampur will be held on April 19, while Jammu, Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar, and Baramulla will poll on April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20.
In 2019, polling for the Lok Sabha was held for six seats in Jammu and Kashmir. However, following the abrogation of Article 370, which resulted in the split of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories--Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, there is no longer a separate Lok Sabha constituency for Ladakh.
In the 2019 elections, the BJP won three seats while the National Conference won the remaining three.
This is the first elections in the erstwhile state after the Supreme Court ruling last year, upholding the abrogation of Article 370.
The apex court also directed the Election Commission of India to hold the next assembly elections in J&K before September 30, this year.

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