EC must restore democracy in J&K, announce dates for LS, assembly polls: Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR — The Election Commission of India (ECI) should play its role in restoring democracy in Jammu and Kashmir and announce dates for both Parliament as well as assembly polls in the Union Territory, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said here on Friday.

“We have no expectations from the Election Commission. The EC should play its role as part of its mission of maintaining democracy. It has been 10 years that J&K has not seen an assembly election,” Abdullah told reporters here.

Referring to the submission of a report by former President Ram Nath Kovind-led committee on ‘one nation one election, the former J&K chief minister said it was a golden opportunity to start the policy from J&K.

“The former president has submitted a report on ‘one nation, one election’. What can we hope for from them: drum-beating ‘one nation one election’ if you do not start from J&K. Is it to fool the people?

“There have to be elections in J&K and it is a golden opportunity. Let them restore democracy fully here and announce the dates of both Parliament as well as assembly elections,” he added.

Asked whether the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) would be meeting in the coming days to sort out its differences, Abdullah said the question should be put to the office bearers of the alliance.

“If there is (a meeting), you ask (alliance president) Farooq Abdullah. I am not an office bearer in the PAGD, I belong to NC. Ask those who hold an office in the PAGD,” he said.

Asked when the party would announce its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the NC leader said “whenever we wish to.” — (PTI)