NC welcomes Indo-Pak thaw, let there be open talks now: Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah while speaking during a party function in Pulwama

PULWAMA — Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said no one in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir was happy with the decision to abrogate the special status of the erstwhile State.

As per the news agency KNO, speaking to the media after addressing party workers in Pulwama Town, the National Conference vice president said that the foundation of the relationship between J&K and India was based on the special status provided by Article 370 and 35-A. “With their abrogation, the BJP has harmed this relationship,” he said.

“They (BJP) have done it without considering the sentiments of lakhs of people in J&K. The promise made to the people here wasn’t made by a single leader; it was made by a country. It was a bond between a country and a State that has been damaged,” he remarked.

Omar said the “real sentiment” of the people would be evident when elections would be conducted. “Let them conduct elections, people will show them whether they are happy with the decision or not, but the truth is that people of J&K and Ladakh aren’t happy with the decision. The people of Ladakh have already shown it; the people of J&K also showed it in DDC elections and will prove it again whenever assembly elections are held,” he said.

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Abdullah criticised the Central government and the Election Commission (EC), accusing them of playing a fixed game when it comes to elections. “Depriving people of their right to choose their representatives would lead to destruction, as people have been denied this right since 2014,” he said.

“When you ask the government, they say the decision is to be taken by the EC. When the EC is asked about it, they say they need to consult the government first. It is evident that both are hiding behind each other, while the people of J&K have to bear the consequences,” he added.

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Omar also mentioned the Prime Minister’s promises of removing distance from Delhi and the hearts of the people, saying no such steps were taken on the ground.

Regarding the remarks of a DMK leader about ‘Gaumutra States’, the former CM suggested that one should not hurt the sentiments of others. “We must respect each other’s religion,” he said.

In his address to the workers, the NC leader said that the BJP has failed to fulfil promises made during the abrogation of Article 370. “They made promises for 24×7 power supply through various types of meters, which have proven ineffective on the ground, especially with frequent power cuts in both urban and rural areas,” he said.

Abdullah also criticised the BJP for “failing to provide jobs to the youth and for not initiating new industries, hospitals, universities or colleges”.

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