PAGD candidates threatened, coerced to join Apni party, alleges Omar Abdullah

‘Democracy is being discredited in Jammu and Kashmir’
PAGD candidates threatened, coerced to join Apni party, alleges Omar Abdullah
File Photo

National Conference vice-president and the former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday alleged that the administration was using police to force the winning candidates of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to join the Apni Party.

"On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and J&K LG Manoj Sinha boat on DDC polls and claim democracy has won, but on the other hand, democracy is being discredited," said Omar while addressing a press conference at his Gupkar residence.

The NC vice-president played a purported call recording to support his claim that the candidates were forced to join the Apni party.

In the purported clip, the husband of a woman candidate who had won from Shopian could be heard admitting to another person on the phone that he was asked to make his wife join Apni Party in exchange for the release of his brother from detention.

"I don't know the reasons on whose command this all is being done," a visibly upset Omar said. "Winning candidates of PAGD are being threatened, humiliated and coerced to join Apni Party, which is a B-team of BJP," he alleged.

Omar said that if the BJP leaders including its spokesman are beating the drums that democracy has won in J&K through DDC polls, why "same democracy is being discredited by the administration which is using police to force the winning candidates to switch sides to Apni Party."

He said that perhaps all this is being done to change the verdict of DDC elections. "The process has been started from Shopian where NC's former MLC Showkat Ganai and senior NC leader Shabir Ahmed Kullay have been kept under detention for no reason," he said, alleging that "perhaps the price of setting these leaders is to join the Apni Party."

"This way democracy is being murdered in J&K," he said. "I wonder if Parliament has anti-defection law, and the Assembly too has it, why the same is not being implemented in J&K and those switching sides being disqualified."

He said the verdict of DDC polls was loud and clear that people voted for PAGD and the message is "August 5, 2019 decision wasn't acceptable to majority of people of J&K. "I don't claim 100 percent people are with us but  yes, majority have voted against August 5, 2019 decision," he said.

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