J&K administration does not want to handover power to people again: Omar

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Kulgam: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Monday accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of “sabotaging” the conduct of assembly polls in the union territory, saying the current dispensation wants to continue to rule like uncrowned kings.

“We wanted simultaneous elections along with Lok Sabha elections. But, it did not happen. The current government of Jammu and Kashmir sabotaged that because they do not want to handover the power to the people again. They are ruling like uncrowned kings,” Abdullah told reporters here after kicking-off the party’s election campaign for Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary constituency.

Earlier addressing party workers at Damhal Hanjipora in the south Kashmir district here, the NC leader said bureaucrats put hurdles in holding the assembly elections as they were getting “spoiled” in J-K.

“The hurdles in holding the assembly elections were put by our officers by saying that they cannot make adequate security arrangements.You yourself say that the situation is better, normalcy has been restored, that there is no danger of guns now.

“If there is no danger of guns, then you will not need much security deployment and if you do not need, then you should have held elections. The reality is that they are getting spoiled,” he said.

The former J-K chief minister, however, said the Election Commission has to hold the assembly polls before the Supreme Court’s deadline of September 30 this year which the top court gave while passing its order after hearing a batch of petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370.

“We thank God that they will have to conclude elections here before September 30 according to the SC. The chief election commissioner has also said that polls will be held before the deadline,” he added.

Asked to comment on the opposition parties complaining about EVMs, Abdullah said even if he complains against the use of EVMs in the elections, they will still be used because the ECI is not ready to use paper ballots again.

“So, we will have to keep our agents alert and not allow any tampering with them,” he said.

To a query on the CAA, the NC leader said CAA is not just against Muslims as there are many other minorities who have been kept outside its purview. “This is BJP’s old habit and they will not mend their ways,” he added. In reply to a question over the status of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Abdullah said the alliance stands

“What has happened to its status? We run our different parties… We have held press conferences together as well as individually. And today, I am talking to you individually, does that mean there is no PAGD. It stands and they will meet in a day or two,” he said.

Asked whether the party’s Gujjar leader Mian Altaf Ahmad would be the NC’s candidate for the constituency, Abdullah said they will announce candidates at an appropriate time.

Altaf has attended whenever party has invited him. He is our party colleague and it is not something new for him to attend our programmes and he will continue doing so. There are many leaders present here and it does not mean anything. I have said we will announce our candidates at the right time. But, we have started campaigning from today, he said.

The NC vice president the BJP’s motive to undertake delimitation of Parliamentary constituencies in J-K was to divide and rule.

“The delimitation was undertaken in a similar manner like the British’s divide and rule. That is what is being done here. Kashmir is being made to fight with Jammu, Hindus with Muslims, Gujjars with Paharis, the aim is to succeed on the south Kashmir seat anyhow. But, people are not fools. They know the BJP’s approach in the rest of the country,” he said.

On the Electoral bonds row, he said while the BJP was paid a whopping amount of around Rs 6,900 crore, his party got only Rs 50 lakh.

“One of my friends, Airtel, gave us a Rs 50 lakh bond to run the party. It is Rs 50 lakh versus Rs 6,900 crore, there is no comparison. But, only those need to use money, who do not have the support of the people. The sum of Rs 50 lakh is enough for us, because people of J-K are with NC,” Abdullah said.

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