First J&K Statehood, Then Polls, Not Otherwise, Says Omar Abdullah Days After PM-Gupkar Alliance Meet

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Vice-President of National Conference parties on Saturday said that mainstream politicians of the region reject the “delimitation, election and then statehood” sequence of events as proposed by the Commission.

“We want delimitation, statehood and then the election. If you want to hold polls, you’ll have to restore the statehood first,” said Omar Adbullah.

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The NC leader, further, said that the leaders of the political parties “did not discuss anything outside the agenda of the Gupkar Alliance” during the three-hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

“We were not called there (at PM’s all-party meet) as an alliance. Had that been the case, only one person from the alliance would have been invited. We did not say anything at the meet that is outside agenda of Gupkar Alliance, he said.

“As far as Delimitation Commission is concerned, the party has made it very clear – they have authorised Farooq Abdullah to take a view as and when necessary. There has been no fresh approach to the National Conference from the Delimitation Commission. Ghulam Nabi Azad had spoken on behalf of all of us that we don’t accept this timeline,” he added.

Delimitation is the process of “fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body”, according to election officials.

During the meeting, the Union home minister reiterated the commitment of the central government to restore statehood to J-K.

According to the J-K leaders, PM Modi said that his government wanted statehood to be back in Jammu and Kashmir and elections to be held at the earliest. He also sought to address the concerns of the leaders regarding mistrust of the people in the Valley.

National Conference leader and former CM of the erstwhile state Omar Abdullah said that he told the PM that there is an atmosphere of mistrust between the Centre and the Valley. “The trust has been shattered,” Omar said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mehbooba Mufti said, “Muskurake PM se kaha Kasmhir ke log bahut pareshan hai…Saans le to andar kar dete hai (I told the PM with a smile that people in Kashmir are worried. They are jailed at the drop of a hat).”

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