Amit Shah’s Kashmir visit during campaign strange: Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR — Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s two-day visit to Kashmir is ‘strange’ as he is coming to a place where the BJP is not contesting the polls leaving campaigning in other parts of the country, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said on Thursday.

“Does this not feel strange to you that the Home minister is leaving election campaign and coming for two days to a place where they are not contesting elections?” Abdullah asked reporters while talking to them in Bandipora.

The NC leader said the Centre and the BJP may try to damage his party but the people of J&K are with them.

“Perhaps, they know that (NC’s candidate from Srinagar Lok Sabha seat) Aga Ruhullah has already won the Srinagar seat and are now making attempts to damage the National Conference, but by God’s will, people are with us and I hope we will win the other two seats of Anantnag and Baramulla as well,” Abdullah said.

The former J&K chief minister is contesting the polls from the north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency.

When asked about jailed former MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias Engineer Rashid’s campaign, which is garnering a lot of support, the NC vice president said everyone has a right to campaign, which is a good thing.

Asked whether Rashid’s entry into the fray would impact his chances, Abdullah said the former MLA’s presence will affect his opponents more than him, referring to People’s Conference president Sajad Lone.

“Let the results come first, then we will see. As per our assessment, before any impact on me, his presence will impact those who claim to win the seat. That is why there is a change in their claims since yesterday.”

“Lone used to talk about winning elections, but now he is saying that his win is not as necessary as my defeat. So, he has accepted his own defeat. Let us see what happens,” Abdullah said.

On Jamaat-e-Islami’s announcing that it may fight elections if the Centre revokes ban on it, Abdullah said it is a good step and the JeI should contest the assembly elections in J&K whenever they are conducted. — (PTI)