Mubashir Aalam Wani
Srinagar, Oct 9: Citing ‘fear factor’ as the reason behind delay in assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday sought answers from the Election Commission of India “for allegedly depriving people of democratic rights”
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Omar blamed the Election Commission of India for “taking decisions in accordance to the BJP”.
“I have nothing personal with BJP. I have complaints with ECI stated it will hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir after considering all the factors. I want to know what factors they are looking at? There is only one factor that is fear factor,” he said.
Omar said that a “fear” is prevailing within BJP, especially after failing to gain a majority in the LAHDC-Kargil polls.
“Earlier they (BJP) would hide behind Raj Bhavan now it is Election Commission. If there is anything else other than the fear factor, we want to hear. Is internal security not robust? You can’t deprive the people of their democratic rights of having an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir,” he asked.
Omar said: “They (government) are claiming that the situation has changed post-August 2019. They also release figures about a large number of tourists coming to Kashmir. The election commission earlier said that a vacuum needs to be filled. We want to know what the factors left to fill the vacuum are.”
Omar said they have no hopes of elections in Jammu and Kashmir especially after the results of LAHDC- Kargil polls.
“If democratic rights are not restored then political parties will have no choice other than to come on to streets. The Supreme Court recently told the government to hold Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections. It seems they have now no courage left to hold these elections. If it was up to them, the BJP would even delayed parliament elections but they couldn’t do it because of the compulsion of forming government at the center,” he said.
Omar claimed the BJP’s defeat in the LAHDC- Kargil polls result of bifurcation of the erstwhile state.
“The results are proof that the bifurcation hit the people of Ladakh equally as it hit the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The results were less about development but more about the bifurcation of the erstwhile state. It is true that people of Ladakh distributed sweets earlier but now their social act visits are protesting,” he said, adding that “Now the BJP will cover defeat by claiming that Kargil is a Muslim majority district. Even Leh is also a Muslim majority district despite the fact a good population of Buddhists lives there. Our Buddhists candidate from Padam emerged victorious.”
Regarding forming an alliance with Congress during elections, Omar said that India Alliance has not taken any decision of seat sharing yet.
“No talks about seat sharing yet by the India Alliance. We are ready for the discussions,” he said.
On the Palestine and Israel war, he termed it ‘unfortunate’ given heavy loss of lives.
“It is unfortunate that deaths are happening from both sides. Violence whether it is in the Middle East or Jammu and Kashmir, innocent people suffer. We can hope and pray for normalcy,” he said.