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    Mian clan faces a tough challenge in 57 years

    Synopsis

    Despite Altaf ’s assertions, the ground realities are a bit tricky, and could prevent the Mian family from going to the assembly this year.

    Despite Altaf ’s assertions, the ground realities are a bit tricky, and could prevent the Mian family from going to the assembly this year.
    KANGAN: Veteran Gujjar leader Mian Altaf, who is also J&K’s incumbent forest minister and senior National Conference leader, is a worried man: for the first time in five decades, the Mian clan faces a tough challenge. But Altaf puts up a brave front and dismisses the so-called ‘wave’ as a sub-urban phenomenon. The Central Kashmir Assembly constituency, in Ganderbal, has traditionally been loyal to the NC, and the influential Mian family has been enjoying the political and religious loyalties of the people here for three generations.

    Mians have an impressive political profile in the region. Altaf, who is seeking re-election for the fifth time, is a third-generation Mian representing the belt. His grand-father Mian Nizam-ud-Din won the assembly election twice in 1957 and 1962, and then his son Mian Bashir had two stints in 1967 and 1972. They were with the Congress then, till Altaf deserted the Congress and joined the NC. He won in 1987, 1996, 2002 and 2008. But this time round, things look a bit different, and PDP is confident of springing a surprise.

    Despite Altaf ’s assertions, the ground realities are a bit tricky, and could prevent the Mian family from going to the assembly this year, for the first time since 1957.

    Altaf faces the biggest challenge from PDP’s Bashir Ahmad Mir, a young man who graduated in 2006 and gave a close run to Altaf in 2008, only to lose by 7,700 votes. Mir had rescued many people during the September floods.
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    The Economic Times