Srinagar/Sumbal, Nov 9: The National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah on Sunday said the party was facing several challenges before the polls, as they "have to persuade people to vote in the assembly elections, and then persuade them to vote for the NC."
Three days after the Coordination Committee asked people to march to, and demonstrate in, the constituencies on the days of elections, Omar said the separatist leaders were dominating the political situation after the agitation triggered by the PDP-Congress coalition government after the Amarnath land row and economic blockade of the Valley.
Omar started the canvassing for Amira Kadal constituency here. He said the party was going to the polls with "some pluses" as the violence was less compared to the last elections, and the party didn't face anti-incumbency.
The NC president said the resolution of Kashmir issue should be separated from formation of government in the state. Without naming anybody, Omar said people are being asked to boycott the elections because it would hurt the struggle for independence.
"Government is for addressing the day-to-day problems of people. If voted to power we would strive for resolving Kashmir issue through a dialogue process between India and Pakistan besides taking into consideration aspiration of Kashmiri people," he said, adding more than 50,000 posts left vacant by the former coalition government would be filled if the NC was voted to power.
Senior NC leader Ali Muhammad Sagar said the former coalition government created Amarnath land controversy. "Both Congress and PDP are responsible for the death of 60 Kashmiris in the recent uprising in the Kashmir," Sagar said, adding, "There is no doubt that we are Indians but we were deceived by New Delhi."
Earlier, party patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah, started the election campaign for Bandipora constituency from Sumbal. He accused the PDP-Congress government of "vitiating" the atmosphere in the state. "They led to the communal polarization in the state and now people will respond to them by voting them out in the elections," Abdullah said.
About the call by the Coordination Committee to march to the constituencies on the dates when polls would be held there, Dr Farooq said, "Separatists have to carry on their work."
Responding to the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti's statement that NC thrust elections on people, Dr Farooq said, "NC didn't thrust election. It was PDP which pushed us to elections by withdrawing support to the Congress-led coalition government. In fact both the parties are responsible for the killing of more than 60 Kashmiri youth in recent uprising," Abdullah said, adding, "PDP knows that they will loose the upcoming elections so they are issuing baseless statements."
Referring to PDP, Abdullah asked people to remain cautious against people carrying green flags. "They will approach you for vote; ask them why did they cause polarization in the state which led to killing of our youth," Abdullah said.
Abdullah addressed election rallies at six other areas in the constituency.