Omar Abdullah Challenges BJP To Hold Assembly Elections In Jammu And Kashmir

Omar Abdullah Challenges BJP To Hold Assembly Elections In Jammu And Kashmir

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said it was a matter of shame that elections were announced by the Supreme Court rather than by the Election Commission.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 10:10 PM IST
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Omar Abdullah | PTI

Mumbai, February 25: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on a visit to Mumbai challenged BJP claims of development and peace in the erstwhile state, saying it was a matter of shame that elections were announced by the Supreme Court rather than by the Election Commission.

Omar Abdullah made scratching remarks while speaking at the 'Ideas of India' Summit and expressing hope for his party's good performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He showed optimism that the Supreme Court's orders would be followed for conducting assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September.

"It is a matter of shame that elections were announced by the Supreme Court of India and not by the Election Commission," he said during a session on Truth and Reconciliation: Giving Kashmir a Chance.

"If five years after 2019, you can’t hold elections then it is a shame. If you could have elections in 1996, then you should have no excuse in conducting elections in 2024. We will take the fight with BJP. We will campaign for the rights of the people of J&K, their land, undo the damage of August 2019; we will be talking about acceptance," he asserted.

Omar Slams Modi Govt:

He also launched a scathing attack on the Modi government, branding it as the most disconnected government with the people on the ground. "The government is not reaching out to the ordinary people. We haven’t had assembly elections since 2014. If everything is so peaceful and people are thrilled with what happened on 5th August 2019, then why are they not having elections?” questioned the National Conference leader.

When asked about the current situation and issues facing Kashmiri Pandits, Abdullah stressed that while things may appear calm on the surface, militancy, terror attacks, and attacks on minorities have increased.

"To believe Article 370 is the root cause of the problems in Jammu and Kashmir is not right. The country was told separatism, terrorism, and lack of development are because of Article 370. But we will be reaching the 5th anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 this year, and separatists and terror on the ground continue to exist, and attacks on minorities in areas like Rajouri and Poonch are constantly being launched."

'Kashmiri Pandits Didn't Leave Because Of Article 370'

Abdullah emphasised about the challenges faced by Kashmiri Pandits in the valley. "The absence of Kashmiri Pandits was an open wound of the last 30 years of trouble. One of the areas of reconciliation is to facilitate their return. They didn’t leave because of Article 370. They left because of a lack of security, and this government has not brought back that sense of security. More Kashmiri Pandits want to leave Kashmir today than five years ago. They are more targeted, and Bollywood keeps churning out propaganda movies. These are inconvenient facts,” he alleged.

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