Jammu, Dec 21 (NAK): Just ahead of the final phase of polling for Jammu and Kashmir assembly, former chief minister of the state and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that the ongoing election has `unfortunately’ proved `disastrous’ for National Conference, which may not get more than 15 seats.
“Unfortunately the election is likely to burry National Conference as it failed to come up to the expectations during the first six phase”, Azad said during an interview with a local cable TV network, here on Saturday.
“I really wanted this party to do better so as to strengthen the nationalist forces in Valley”, he said adding, “However, as per my assessment till date the party may not get more than 12 to 15 seats”. This, he said, is unfortunate.
Azad was of the opinion that the high turnout of voters in the first six phases has worked against the NC. “In Ko Ye 70-80 Per Cent Polling Mar Gaye”, he said.
The party patron and former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, he said, could have done better, if he wanted to. “However, he is more interested in extra-curricular activities”, Azad said in a light mood.
Another reason for the likely debacle of NC, he said, was the weak party cadres at the ground level. “When militancy started, almost all the NC leaders deserted Valley”, he said, recalling how a single NC leader Muhammad Sayeed Akhoon used to receive him at Srinagar airport during his visits as union minister.
“No NC leader was visible in the entire Valley during the militancy period, which weakens their party cadre at the gross route level”, he said adding, “This benefited other political parties and independent candidates during the ongoing elections”.
Referring to the performance of the Congress during the first six phases of the election, Azad said that he was sure that his party would form the next government with the help of those against whom the party did not fielded any candidate.
However, he admitted that Congress may not do wonders in Valley. “We had five MLAs from Valley earlier and this time I am sure we would get few more”, he said adding, “It was unfortunate that Congress did not have a strong party cadre and good candidates in Valley”.