Omar justifies decision not to contest from Ganderbal

­ Reacting to opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti’s assertions that he “deserted traditional Ganderbal constituency fearing defeat” Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the Assembly constituency was and will forever remain close to his heart.

Addressing an election rally in Ganderbal, he said, “This is the first time that I am coming to Ganderbal to ask for your precious votes for someone not from my family and I am touched and overwhelmed by your support and enthusiasm today.” In an emotional address, he told people: “I stand inspired by the passion and spirit of the youth who received me in Ganderbal today and I promise that my personal bond and association with Ganderbal will remain unchanged till I am alive.”

Justifying his decision to leave Ganderbal and field a lesser known leader Sheikh Ashfaq Jabbar from the constituency, Omar said, “After serving you for six years, we decided to give you a local leader from within Gandberal as an initiative to empower local leadership and after witnessing your passion.”

“Today, I am certain that Ishfaq will receive unhindered support from you. He is a young, educated leader and will continue the work that I did in Ganderbal for the last six years,” he said.

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