By Naseer Ganai in Srinagar
On Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah's anniversary today, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah said that the National Conference will not shy away from elections and will participate in them whenever they are held.
“I don’t know when the election will be held but National Conference will not remain away from the polls. We will fight the polls,” Dr Abdullah said.
In June 2018, the BJP pulled out of the alliance from the PDP-BJP government leading to the resignation of the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and imposition of Governor’s rule in the state.
Later in November 2018, Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly was dissolved by the then governor Satya Pal Malik, amid speculation that regional parties National Conference and PDP were planning a coalition to form the government.
Then on August 5, 2019, the BJP government in the Centre converted the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories following the abrogation of Article 370. Since then J&K is without assembly, with the Election Commission of India failing to hold polls. In spite of the majority of the state's political parties being in favour of conducting the polls, the ECI has not taken any decision so far. Political parties in J&K are seeking restoration of statehood first and then elections in J&K.
Dr Abdullah said these days the internal elections of his party are taking place. “The internal elections keep the political parties alive and it gives momentum to them,” he said.
“We are committed to fight for the restoration of Articles 370, 35A. We are committed to that count. We are hopeful we will take it back,” he added.
Speaking on the situation in Afghanistan, Dr Abdullah said that he hoped the new Taliban government will adopt friendly relations with all and work for justice, human rights and good governance.
“Afghanistan is a separate country. And those who have are now ruling it, they have to take care of their country and I hope they will do justice with all and provide good governance (to their country). Hope they will adhere to human rights and run the government under the true principles of Islam. I want to say they should have good relations with their neighbours.”
He described Sheikh Abdullah as a great leader he said his party is following his path.
“He (Sheikh Abdullah) devoted his whole life to raise people. I am hopeful our party will follow his path and will work for good of people,” he added.
Last year J&K government removed Sheikh’s birth anniversary from the holiday list.