Jammu, Sep 1: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that his party is ready for assembly elections since 2019 but Government of India must restore statehood first before conducting polls.
Addressing media men in Jammu, after meeting workers from various districts of the region, Omar said: “The decision about holding polls has to be taken by the election commission. We are ready for Assembly elections since 2019 (the year Centre scrapped Article 370). But we demand that GoI must first restore statehood before conducting polls in J&K”
Omar said that NC will continue to fight for the rights of people of J&K legally in Supreme Court.
The former J&K chief minister said that unemployment has increased manifold in J&K, many employment opportunities have been snatched, Durbar Move practice (which has been barred by government) is beneficial for traders of Jammu than those in Kashmir adding. “Nobody has got benefits of Article 370 rollback,” he claimed.
Omar trained his guns at the Centre for holding talks with the Taliban. He said that the government should ‘make up its mind’ on whether it considers the Taliban a terror organization.’
“Either Taliban is a terror organisation or not, please clarify to us how you see them. If they are a terror group, why are you talking to them? If not, then will you move to the United Nations and have it delisted as a terror organisation? Make up your mind clear,” Omar said.
Pertinently, Indian envoy to Qatar Deepak Mittal had met Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha on Tuesday, the first high-level contact between the two sides on a day the US completed withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.
Omar backed the ‘Asset Monetization Plan’ of the Central Government.
“It is important to draw the difference between privatization and monetization. Monetization is giving assert on lease but not transferring the ownership of assert,” he said, adding that “I see no reason to oppose a scheme which monetize an assert which otherwise not giving suitable returns, if same assert have been privatize then I have question to ask the government but as far as monetize of an assert is concern if the ownership of that assert is not being transferred and government is able to earn from an assert which otherwise dead, why should I oppose it.”
Omar said: “I support any scheme that allow government to raise revenue without putting burden on people, my opposition is to heavily tax fuel, that way you tax petrol, diesel and gas cylinders. I am opposed to that and I will not oppose a scheme that allows you to raise revenue. Yes, I hope the process that will follow is transparent one and that it’s not only friends of BJP that will be benefited.”
About Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone’s criticism on the PAGD, Omar said that Sajad has no right to talk or oppose Gupkar Alliance. “He was himself part of PAGD and the way he left the alliance is an eye-opener to all. Sajad shouldn’t talk about PAGD,” Omar said.