National Conference hints at going alone in J&K Assembly polls

Srinagar: In a setback to People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), National Conference has announced that the party would contest all the 90 seats in the Assembly elections.
The party announced this after a meeting of the provincial committee which was chaired by former chief minister and party vice president Omar Abdullah.
“The provincial committee members unanimously resolved that JKNC should prepare and fight all 90 assembly seats,” a statement issued by the party said.
Only last month, NC president Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had announced that PAGD will contest the polls together. Farooq Abdullah heads the PAGD- an amalgam of parties which seeks restoration of J&K’s special status.
The PDP chief spokesman Suhail Bukahri reacting to the NC statement said that PAGD was conceived for a much larger cause than just an electoral alliance .
“If some constituent of the Alliance has reservations for any kind of electoral alliance , that will not impact our unity for the larger goal,” Bukahri said.
Besides hinting at going to polls all alone, the NC without naming any constituent of PAGD expressed dismay over the recent statements, audio jingles and speeches targeting NC.
“They felt that it does not contribute to the overall unity of the amalgam. They denounced the unfair treatment meted out to JKNC in PAGD. The participants demanded immediate course correction from PAGD constituents,” a party statement said.
The Vice President Omar in his response acknowledged the concerns raised by the participants and reiterated that the interest of the people of J&K and JKNC will be safeguarded
Omar said the only way to protect J&K’s identity is to first register and cast your vote in huge numbers in elections, whenever it’s held.
The meeting was also marked by threadbare discussions on party affairs and the mounting apprehensions among the public with regards to inclusion of 25 lakh new voters as claimed by J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer in a press conference.
Alluding to inclusion of 25 lakh new voters in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said the entire matter begs clarity from the Election Commission of India.
“All this has triggered fears of demographic flooding and political disempowerment within the public. We are yet to ascertain if the final electoral rolls are also to include those ordinarily residing voters. Our concerns with regards to requirements for outsiders to get registered continue to remain unmet. The clarity provided by government quarters has failed to address our core concerns on the issue,” he said.
Omar said that people of Jammu and Kashmir are best equipped to defeat these nefarious designs by voting in huge numbers in the forthcoming elections, whenever it’s held.
“The remedy lies with our people, who if they choose to vote in huge numbers can thwart these attempts aimed at disempowering the people of J&K. Therefore people have to make it a point to come out and vote in huge numbers,” he added.

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