Omar Abdullah Challenges BJP To Field Candidates From Kashmir Valley

After being nominated as National Conference (NC) candidate for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday challenged the BJP to contest the Parliamentary elections directly and not through its proxies in the predominantly Muslim Kashmir Valley and said that he will quit politics if the saffron party candidates do not lose their security deposits.

When asked to react to Prime Minister’s assertion that the people of J&K had been the worst sufferer of the dynastic politics and corruption since Independence whereas the erstwhile state is witnessing development and normalcy under his government, the NC vice president told reporters here, “I don’t think I need to react. Let the people do that. If what the Prime Minister says has so much power, then let them field BJP candidates and seek votes in the name of the BJP.”

He added, “What you (BJP) did on Article 370, what you claim about development or normalcy… then field BJP candidates and see how many votes they would get. Your attempts to prop up A or B or C teams, leave that then. When you say that you have done so much work and that we have done nothing in Jammu and Kashmir, then we should lose our security deposits in the elections.”

Mr. Abdullah further stated, “If what Modiji is saying is correct then why are his candidates not in the field? Why is BJP not contesting South, Central and North Kashmir? I assume for a moment that what PM Modi is saying is correct that the National Conference is responsible for all the trouble..."

When asked about the Prime Minister’s announcement at a BJP election rally in Udhampur earlier during the day that the Assembly elections in J&K will be held soon, the former chief minister said, “It is the verdict of the Supreme Court. It would have been a favour to us if he had conducted elections before the verdict of the Supreme Court. It is now a compulsion for him. It is the Supreme Court's verdict to conduct elections in J&K before the 30th of September 2024”.

He added,” As far as the statehood is concerned, they have failed to make us understand why they took it away. Article 370 was in their manifesto, but where is the justice in downgrading the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. They have not been able to make the Supreme Court understand that decision.”

Earlier NC president Farooq Abdullah announced that his son and party vice president Omar Abdullah will contest elections from the Baramulla and former minister and prominent Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi from Srinagar constituency.

After stripping J&K of its special status and splitting it up into two Union territories in August 2019, the Junior Abdullah had announced that he would not contest Assembly elections unless J&K’s statehood was restored.

The NC has already nominated another former minister and senior party leader Mian Altaf Ahmad as its candidate for the third Lok Sabha seat-Anantnag- in the Valley whereas it is supporting the Congress candidates in Jammu and Udhampur constituencies as being part of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance. Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Ghulam Nabi Azad too are contesting from Anantnag constituency which, after the delimitation that took place a year ago, has in it also seven out of eight assembly segments from the Jammu region namely Rajouri, Thannamandi, Budhal, Nowshera, Mendhar, Surankote and Poonch-Haveli. End it

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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