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National Conference open to Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir if fresh election declared, says Omar Abdullah

Srinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has hinted his party would participate in Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir if fresh elections to the state legislature were announced in near future.

"You got the control of a handful of towns and cities because the National Conference and the PDP stayed away (and the Congress did such a poor job of putting up a fight). Do you really think we will give you a walkover in the Assembly polls?" Abdullah wrote on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.

He was responding to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Ram Madhav, who had asked the National Conference and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) if they would participate in Assembly polls if held in near future.

File image of Omar Abdullah

File image of Omar Abdullah

"On one hand, they (the National Conference and the PDP) say they will not take part in elections to safeguard Article 35A, on the other, they demand dissolution of Assembly and fresh elections. Tomorrow if assembly elections are held, will you will fight or go by your boycott?" Madhav said at a function in Kathua on Tuesday night.

The National Conference and the PDP did not participate in urban local bodies elections held in the state last month after a gap of nearly 13 years due to the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution, which guarantees exclusive residency rights to people of the state only, before the Supreme Court.

The two regional parties had asked the Centre to mount a strong defence of the constitutional provision before the apex court. They had remained non-committal to participation in future elections in the state.

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under the governor's rule on June 19 this year after the BJP pulled out of its coalition with the PDP and no alternative front staked claim for government formation. However, the state assembly has been placed in suspended animation, leaving doors open for efforts for fresh government formation.

As per the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, the state will go under direct president's rule on 19 December if the present situation continues.


Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 15:59 PM

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