If You Want Elections In J&K, Restore Statehood First’: Omar Abdullah

Former J&K chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the political parties of J&K conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah that they want the restoration of statehood to J&K to happen first.

Any other timeline is not acceptable, Omar Abdullah said. “Ghulam Nabi Azad Saab, had spoken on behalf of all of us that we don’t accept this timeline. We don’t accept delimitation, election, statehood. We want delimitation, statehood and then the election. If you want to hold polls, you will have to restore statehood first,” he said to ANI.

After the cordial meeting between J&K leaders — many of whom were imprisoned for a long time after August 2029 — and PM Modi, People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said her party won’t fight elections until Article 370 and 35A are restored.

Echoing the same demand, the National Conference leader on Saturday said this is a demand of all the political parties in J&K. “Not only Mehbooba Mufti but Farooq Saab also said that it took 70 years for BJP to succeed in their agenda of abrogation of Article 370. We won’t back off from our mission, even if it takes us 70 weeks or 70 months or more time,” Omar Abdullah said.

For the first time after the Union government scrapped Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and bifurcated the state into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir leaders were invited to Delhi for a meeting with PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah.

Several issues, including elections, delimitation and the restoration of statehood, were discussed in the meeting. PM Modi and Amit Shah assured the J&K leaders that the Centre is committed to restoring statehood to J&K as the leaders conveyed to them that people were not happy.

After the meeting, now National Conference and People’s Democratic Paty have raised question over the government’s will to restore statehood to J&K. While Mehbooba Mufti said her party won’t take part in elections if elections are held before J&K is given back its statehood, Omar Abdullah on Friday said it is foolish to expect the restoration of statehood from this government

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