It is Cong vs NC for Anantnag, PDP not even in fray: Omar

National Conference vice-president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that only his party and Congress were in the contest for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, and PDP “was nowhere in the race”.

His statement comes a day after the first leg of the three-phased elections for the Lok Sabha seat in Anantnag district was held.

In the second phase, Kulgam would vote on April 29 and in the third phase, Pulwama and Shopian are going for polls on May 6.

“After yesterday’s results it is quite obvious that our candidate Hassnain Masoodi is in a comfortable position. Now it is the fight between NC and Congress. PDP stands nowhere,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a workers convention at Rest House, Kulgam.

Attributing the low turnout in the six assembly segments of Anantnag district to the resentment against previous PDP-BJP coalition government, and Mehbooba Mufti, Omar said, “The dismal turnout in Bijbehara and Anantnag assembly segments and low voter turnout in four others is a clear message to PDP and its leadership. They should realize how they treated the state in the past four years and how much destruction they caused.”

Flaying Mehbooba for betraying the trust of people, Omar said, “Imagine in Anantnag assembly segment where from Mehbooba Mufti won the 2016 by-elections by 12,000 votes, not even a thousand votes were polled. Even her own brother and sitting MLC Tasaduk Mufti didn’t cast his vote in her favor. If her own brother didn’t repose his faith in her, how can others.”

“I have never come across such helplessness and loneliness in my entire life. This is lesson for all politicians. Opportunism hath a fall,” he said and appealed to the people to show their anger by voting rather than staying at homes.

“Masoodi sahib will represent the aspirations of people in New Delhi. He is the one who won’t have to seek permission of New Delhi to speak for you.  He would speak for Kashmiris and not New Delhi,” Omar said.

“He will be there to protect the article 370 and 35 A in the parliament,” he said.

Omar also accused Muftis and PDP of lies on the protection of the special status of J&K.

“They were the one who implemented SARFAESI, NFSA, and GST in the state.  They were the one who brought NIA to state. They failed to deliver on every promise they made in the run up for elections in 2014. We didn’t see them repeal AFSPA. On the contrary they slapped PSA on thousands of our youngsters, most of whom are still languishing in jails. She failed miserably on every front. She failed to protect state’s status. She failed to provide jobs and above all she pushed the state into chaos. It was south Kashmir that bore the brunt of her imprudent policies. They are the ones who provided platform to BJP-RSS in the state,” Omar said.

Omar also chided Mehbooba for “shedding crocodile tears” during her campaigning.

“Today we see her shedding tears over the miseries. People would have appreciated if she would have shed them when scores of our youth were devoured during her stint as the chief minister. The tears we see in her eyes are not out of remorse either. On the contrary these tears are political tears, which she is craftily shedding to gain the lost ground. However, people have made it a point to not fall prey to her shenanigans and slyness. People remember how she had bolted her mouth in 2016. We didn’t see her raise qualms over the problems faced by people when she was enjoying power with the BJP, her tears emerged only after when BJP withdrew support,” he added.

 Omar also addressed workers in Wanpoh in Kulgam’s Home-Shalibugh Assembly constituency.