“Assembly Polls Should Be Held In J&K As Soon As Possible”: Omar Abdullah

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Omar Abdullah said his party has not changed its stand on Article 35-A. (File)


Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday that assembly polls should be held "as soon as possible" in Jammu and Kashmir to put in place an elected government to run affairs of the state, which is under the President's rule.

The National Conference (NC) vice-president also took a dig at some politicians and bureaucrats for "creating hurdles" in holding of elections of assembly jointly with parliament elections in the state.

"We want that polls should be held as soon as possible in the state and an elected government in the state is formed so that they run the affairs of state", Mr Adbullah told reporters in Jammu.

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He was replying to a question whether his party wants to hold assembly and parliamentary polls jointly in the state.

"Either he (Union home minister Rajnath Singh) has deceived the Parliament. If you say Rajnath Singh sahib has deceived Parliament, what can I say (on holding of joint elections in J&K)," he said.

The former chief minister said he "clearly" heard Mr Singh saying in parliament that "whatever number of forces is required by election commission for holding Assembly and Lok Sabha elections together, we will provide them".

The NC vice-president took note of alleged attempts being made to delay polls in the state.

"Some people do not want elections at this time. Some politicians are trying to create hurdles and also some bureaucrats want this system (Governor''s rule) to continue so that their accountability is not checked," Mr Abdullah said.

The former chief minister also took a dig at Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik over his reported remarks that J&K is like any other state and Patna records more murders in a day than J&K.

"To say Jammu and Kashmir is like any other state, it is wrong. If this Governor, who has been Governor of Bihar before, says like this, then Nitish Kumar (Bihar CM) has to clarify", he said.

Mr Abdullah said article 370, article 35-A and accession differentiate Jammu and Kashmir from other states.

He said his party has not changed its stand on Article 35-A, which guarantees special rights and privileges to permanent residents of the state, and is doing whatever possible to defend it.

Referring to prominent political leaders joining the National Conference, Mr Adbullah decried the statement of PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, describing leaders leaving her party as "garbage". He said the statement speaks volumes about "lowest depths" of political discourse.

He said large-scale desertions in the PDP are reflective of the "anger" among people for the "miseries" caused to them during the past three and half years.

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