Former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah today made it clear that elections in Jammu and Kashmir should be held only after restoration of the statehood. He said restoration of the statehood to J&K after delimitation and elections is not acceptable to the NC. He said former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has demonstrated it clearly on behalf of everyone during the meeting held with the Prime Minister in New Delhi on June 24.
While National Conference president Dr. Farooq Abdullah said the meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi took place in a cordial manner and all parties put forward their views. He, however, insisted that meeting was the first step on Prime Minister’s part to improve the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and now the political process should start.
“Let me be frank about it. The first prime minister of India promised plebiscite and then went back on it. The then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao ji before the election (1996) promised us autonomy saying the sky is the limit but not the independence. We said we are asking for autonomy, not independence. He promised us on the floor of the House. Where is it? Frankly, there is a level of mistrust, and that mistrust has to be removed. How you remove it you have to take the call,” Dr. Farooq said. Dr Abdullah along with NC Omar Abdullah were talking to reporters at their residence here after returning from New Delhi. .
Omar said the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration was intact.
“Why should be it (the meeting with Prime Minister) be the end of the alliance?” Omar said in response to a question about future of the PAGD.
Omar said the PAGD leaders were not called for the meeting as an alliance. “In case they would have called them as an alliance then only one person would have gone there on behalf of the alliance. The parties were invited there separately. National Conference, PDP, and the CPI(M) are all part of the alliance. We didn’t say anything in the meeting that was against the Gupkar Alliance agenda. Gupkar alliance has been saying they that are not accepting August 5, 2019, decisions and for it, they would adopt all means constitutionally, legally and politically to undo it and they are doing it,” Omar added.
“Nobody among the alliance partner told the Prime Minister that we have accepted August 5 and so let us move on. We said people are angry. They are not happy with the decision. But we will not deceive people. We shouldn’t deceive people at the same time. We shouldn’t tell them that we will make Modi ji reverse the decisions of August 5, 2019. That will be deceiving people.
“Not only Mehbooba Mufti but Farooq Abdullah also said it took the BJP 70 years to fulfill its agenda of abrogation of Article 370, in the same way, if it takes us 70 weeks or 70 months, we will not retreat from our mission (of restoration of Article 370).”
“We said it in clear words to the prime minister and he heard it.”
Omar said as for as delimitation is concerned the party has authorized Dr. Farooq Abdullah to take a view on the issue. He said as and when the delimitation commission approaches the NC, Dr. Abdullah will take a view on it. He said former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during the meeting made sequences of coming political events clear by asking the government to complete the delimitation process, restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, and hold elections. “Delimitation, election, statehood timeline is not acceptable. Delimitation, statehood, and elections should be the timeline, and this was put forward by Azad Sahab (Ghulam Nabi Azad) on behalf of everyone.”
He said even if Article 370 is pending hearing before the Supreme Court they have the right to talk about it legally, politically, and constitutionally, and peacefully. “That is our right and we will exercise it,” Omar said. Omar said he has no mood to fight the elections. He said so many issues are before the Supreme Court, but it doesn’t stop anyone talking about it. “For the longest time Babri Masjid demolition was before the Supreme Court and it didn’t stop the BJP from pressing their agenda about the Ram Temple. Even if the matter (Article 370) is before the Supreme Court or it is sub-judice that doesn’t stop us from stating our point of view and we will continue to do that.”