Srinagar: Ending speculation over his choice of Assembly seat, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will contest from two constituencies in the upcoming elections instead of family bastion Ganderbal from where he was elected in 2008.
In its fourth list of 22 candidates released today for the J&K Assembly elections, the National Conference announced Omar will contest from Sonwar in Srinagar and Beerwah in Budgam.
The names were announced after a meeting of the party's Parliamentary Board chaired by Omar, who is also the working president of the party, the NC said in a statement.
The party has decided to field Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, who deserted Congress last year and joined the NC. Jabbar is son of former Congress minister Sheikh Jabbar.
Omar's uncle Mustafa Kamal has also been moved from his home constituency of Hazratbal in Srinagar to Gulmarg in Baramulla district from where he had won the elections in 1987 and 1996.
Kamal had lost the 2002 and 2008 elections from the seat but won the bye-election from Hazratbal in 2008 after his brother Farooq Abdullah vacated it.
Senior party leader Mohammad Syed Akhoon has been given ticket from Hazratbal.
With this, NC has declared the names of candidates for 84 out of 87 seats in the state. It is likely to announce the names candidates of the three constituencies in Ladakh region in a few days.
Rajya Sabha member Ghulam Nabi Rattanpuri has been fielded from south Kashmir's Pulwama constituency, while former Lok Sabha MP Mehboob Beg will test the waters from Anantnag seat.
Beg had lost in the Lok Sabha polls from south Kashmir to opposition Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti.
National Conference has retained three sitting legislators Peer Afaq from Zadibal (Srinagar), Mohammad Ashraf Ganai from Sopore (Baramulla) and Kafeel-ul-Rahman from Karnah (Kupwara).
It has fielded 11 new faces, including a woman and a prominent Shia leader.
Shakti Bala was given ticket from Chhamb in Jammu region, while Shia leader Aga Syed Mehmood will take the electoral plunge from Pattan constituency of north Kashmir.
Mehmood had joined the party just before Lok Sabha polls after leaving PDP.