Omar criticises PM for delaying J&K assembly polls

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not giving the people of Jammu and Kashmir “the right to choose government” in the state. He also attacked the BJP-led central government for “consciously disenfranchising” the people of J&K by not holding the assembly elections on time.

Omar was reacting to Modi’s appeal to people to vote in large numbers to increase participation in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

“Dear @narendramodi Sahib, it is good to see you appealing to famous people to increase voter turnout however at the same time your government has consciously disenfranchised people in J&K by not holding Assembly elections on time,” Omar said in a series of tweet.

Earlier this week, the election commission of India (ECI) announced seven-phase parliamentary polls, but decided not to hold assembly elections in J&K, which is presently under the president’s rule.

In another tweet, Omar, the former chief minister, wrote that the right to choose an elected government, as opposed to being governed by a handpicked nominee of the central government, is the “hallmark of the sort of democracy you (the PM) are tweeting about”.

“Please give us our democratic right to choose our own government,” Omar wrote.

The deferment of the state polls has come in for sharp criticism from state’s mainstream political parties.

On March 10, Omar had said this deferment shows that “PM Modi has surrendered to Pakistan, to the militants and to the Hurriyat”.

“Well done Modi Sahab. 56 inch chest failed. #slowclap,” he had tweeted.

Omar had also referred to the “assurances” given by union home minister Rajnath Singh on three occasions in the past for providing all resources for simultaneous polls.

“What happened to these assurances?” Omar had questioned.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has also questioned deferring the state elections.

“All parties are in favour of holding simultaneous (LS and state assembly) polls. Environment is conducive for Lok Sabha polls but not state polls in J&K?” he said on March 11.

Another former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti slammed the New Delhi for delaying the elections.

“It is very dangerous to keep the state in the hands of unelected representatives of the Centre as it will further complicate the problems in the state,” she had said.

Delaying the assembly polls would sow the “seeds of suspicion” among people about “designs” of the government of India, she had said, seeking immediate review of the decision.