Assembly polls not anywhere near: Omar Abdullah

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that assembly polls were not anywhere near in Jammu and Kashmir as elections are possible only after the delimitation process which is yet to start.

Talking to media persons during his visit to Kalakote, Rajouri, the NC vice-president reiterated the commitment of Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and said that more than 26 deputations drawn from various sections of society met them at Jammu which shows positive response.

“We have decided to contest ensuing DDC polls unitedly and the same was announced in Jammu yesterday,” Omar said.

Replying to a question, Omar said that removal of Bhim Singh from the post of patron in the Panthers Party was an internal matter of the party.

“I however want to inform you that Bhim Singh was not on the same page with us and objected to our aim of restoration of Article 35-A,” Omar said.

In reference to the recent statement of Mehbooba Mufti regarding the national flag which drew protests in Jammu, Omar Abdullah said that she and her party has clarified the matter.

When asked about chances of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and probability of contesting polls under PAGD, Omar Abdullah said that assembly polls are not near and he cannot comment anything on it.

“Polls shall be held only after the delimitation commission conducts its exercise and this exercise is yet to start due to coronavirus issues,” Omar said.

Observing that the PAGD has been received well in Jammu, Omar declared that the alliance is on wider reach-out mode and wants to listen to all, including those having contrarian views on various issues like Article 370 and 35A.

“We are ready to meet even the BJP notwithstanding the fact the party was not acceding to our demand on restoration of Article 370”, Omar Abdullah said.

“Had the purpose been to meet only the like-minded people then that could have been done in the Valley itself,” he said, adding that the larger objective is to meet whoever wants, even if they don’t subscribe to what the Alliance is standing for.

Earlier, he met with family members of former MLA Kalakote, Thakur Rashpal Singh, and offered his condolences.

He termed the death of Thakur Rashpal Singh as a major loss for the National Conference as well as the entire Jammu and Kashmir.

NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana among other party leaders were also present on this occasion.