NC will not beg Centre for polls in J&K, will be ready whenever they are held: Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Wednesday said his party will not beg the Centre for assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters after a party function in Pahalgam, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, he said the delay in the polls does not worry his party. The BJP is ”scared” and lacks the courage to conduct the polls in the Union territory, he added.
”We will see to it whenever elections take place. But I have been saying this, we will not beg for these elections,” Abdullah said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the NC would be ready whenever the Centre decides to conduct polls in the Union territory. The party is ready, but ”we will not beg for it”, he said.
”BJP members are scared, they do not have the courage to conduct the elections. Let them find the courage, plunge into the fray and then we will see where people stand,” Abdullah added.
Asserting that the party’s public meetings were not a signal to its workers that the elections were approaching, the NC vice-president said party leaders were meeting with workers in an endeavour to strengthen the organisation, identity loopholes and plug them.
On criticism over his remarks on Tuesday that the NC will revoke the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) after it forms the government in Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah asserted that he had not said anything new.
”I have been continuously saying it for the last few years. I think I said it in the 2019 parliamentary polls as well, and I stand on this. When the NC forms the government, we will remove this law from the statute,” he added.

On the government’s latest order asking all outgoing lessees to immediately handover possession of the land taken on lease, the NC leader said it was very ”unfortunate”.

”I understand the leases have expired and they (government) want to renew those leases, but those people who have kept these institutions, structures, and businesses running in very difficult times, they should get first priority.

”Let the government fix the rates, ask the lease holders to renew at such rates, and if they cannot do that, then let the government look out for others. How is it justified that you want to vacate them from there first,” he asked.
The government aims to vacate them as it wants to bring people from outside, Abdullah claimed. (Agencies)

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