Srinagar: National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that his party will participate in the Assembly polls but reiterated that NC is “committed for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir”.
Abdullah was talking to reporters on the sidelines of 39th death anniversary of NC founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah at his mausoleum at Hazratbal here. “We don’t know when elections will be held, but we are clear about it. We will contest elections whenever they are held in Jammu and Kashmir,” Abdullah said. “As far as statehood and Article 370 are concerned, we stand firm on our stand and there has been no change on it. There will be no change in that” Abdullah added.
Meanwhile, earlier Dr Farooq and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah led party functionaries in offering Fatiha and floral tributes to party founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah on his 39th death anniversary at his mausoleum at Hazratbal.
The leaders while offering tributes to Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah said that he was “one of the titans of the freedom movement for the restoration of people’s democratic rights”.
Party leaders pledged to “offer every sacrifice” for upholding and preserving the rights of the people of J&K. “Defending, upholding and preserving the unity of the people of J&K will be a befitting tribute to Sher-e-Kashmir,” the party leaders on the occasion said.
“The life and struggle of Sher-e-Kashmir,” the NC functionaries, according to a party handout, said, “was emblematic of people’s genuine aspirations and that on his anniversary the best tribute to him would be to tread the path which he had left behind for all of us to follow.”
The party statement said: “Lauding his vision of discarding communal politics, party leaders said Sheikh Sahib’s ideals have universal acceptance. He wished for a society where equal opportunities are available to all, irrespective of religion, region, caste, creed or color.”
Recalling the “immense contribution” of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah by way of “Land Reforms Act, Single Line Administration, free education, adult franchise,” the party leaders, according to the statement, said that “after independence, the state rose to achieve new heights in terms of human development index and that the overall growth of the state on other vital development indices was also far ahead of other states in the country.”
“The leaders said that the feat could not have been achieved had not a leader of Sheikh Sahib’s stature been around. They asserted that Sher-e-Kashmir endeavors towards maintaining communal harmony at a time when the entire subcontinent was swayed by communal frenzy. It was in his efforts that Mahatma Gandhi had said that he sees a ray of hope in Kashmir,” the statement said.
Among other party functionaries, delegates and workers, NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, party Treasurer Shammi Oberoi, Senior leaders Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Mubarak Gul, Shameema Firdous, MP Anantnag Hassnain Masoodi, Nazir Ahmed Khan Gurezi, Mir Saifullah, Irfan Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Syed Akhoon, Dr. Bashir Ahmed Veeri, Ali Mohammad Dar, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Abdul Majeed Bhat Larmi, Peer Afaq Ahmed, Qaisar Jamsheed Lone, Javed Dar, Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir, Mir Ghulam Rasool Naaz, Syed Tauqeer Ahmed, Dr. Sajad Shafi Uri, Ahsan Pardesi, Tanvir Sadiq, Imran Nabi Dar, Salman Sagar, Mudassar Shahmiri, Ifra Jan, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Pir Muhammad Hussain, Ghulam Mustafa Sofi, Shabir Ahmed Kullay, Er. Sabiya Qadri, Mohammad Yaqoob Wani, Shafqat Watali, Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Manzoor Wani, JS Azad Nisar Ahmad Nisar offered floral tributes and Fatiha on the occasion.
Newly elected block presidents, YNC functionaries also offered floral tributes and Fatiha.