Don't take any steps that will worsen Kashmir situation: NC leaders tell Modi

A National Conference delegation, led by its president Farooq Abdullah, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Thursday and conveyed to him that assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir should be held before the end of the year.

The delegation, which met Modi for about 20 minutes, also requested him not to take any step that may lead to deterioration in the situation in Kashmir.

 Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who was also part of the delegation along with party MP Hasnain Masoodi, said they apprised the Prime Minister about the situation in the state and the apprehensions of the people. “We discussed two issues with the Prime Minister. We told him that no step should be taken which will lead to deterioration of the situation in Kashmir. We also told him that the assembly elections should be held before the end of the year,” Omar told reporters here.

He said that they have conveyed to the Prime Minister that the situation in the Kashmir has improved and it is better than last year, but the situation can deteriorate at any time. “We apprised him about the people’s feelings and also told him that there is tension in the people’s mind,” Omar added.

Asked whether the speculation about the possibility of scrapping of Article 35A of the Constitution was taken up with the Prime Minister, Omar said they did not specify about it. “But, when we say that there should be no step that means it covers all issues, including Article 35A and Article 370,” he said.

“We are of the view that let a new government be elected and take decisions on it. Let the people decide whom they want to elect. We will accept the people’s verdict,” he said.

Omar said that the meeting with PM Modi was very cordial and the Prime Minister also apprised them about his feelings (on Jammu and Kashmir). 

“We are satisfied with the meeting,” Omar said, refusing to disclose what the Prime Minister told the delegation.

Asked about PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s appeal for an united stand by the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, he said a meeting of the political affairs committee of the NC will be held on Sunday and it will take a decision on it.

Later, in a series of tweets, Omar said, “We requested him (PM Modi) that no precipitous steps of any sort should be taken that may result in situation in the state, particularly the Valley, worsening. We specifically asked him to let subjudice matters be settled by the courts & other matters be settled by an elected government”.

“Dr (Farooq) Abdullah Sb reminded the Hon PM that J&K has been without an elected government for well over a year now and requested him to take all necessary steps to facilitate the @ECISVEEP’s (Election Commission of India) conduct of assembly polls before the onset of winter,” he tweeted.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the central government sending 100 additional companies or 10,000 personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to the Valley.

The government had said the troops were being deployed to strengthen the counter-insurgency grid and law and order duties in Kashmir. 

 NC spokesman adds

Meanwhile, a National Conference spokesman in a statement said, “ The visiting delegation apprised the Prime Minister about the panic and the anxiety that has gripped Kashmir following undue rumor mongering. The delegation acquainted the Prime Minister about the anxiousness that has beset the state in wake of deployment of troops and undue tinkering with the states special status. They urged the PM that no pronouncement that might vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state should be made.”

The delegation, according the spokesman, implored that at a time when Amaranth Yarta is going on smoothly, tourist flow is slowing picking up, no decision or any pronouncement should be made that deteriorates the situation. “The meeting was an earnest endeavor by the party to acquaint the Prime Minster about the current situation in Kashmir,” he added.