Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Omar Abdullah files nomination for Baramulla seat

The NC leader is pitted against People's Conference president and separatist-turned-mainstream-politician Sajad Lone.
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 08:07 IST
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 08:07 IST

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Srinagar: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah filed his nomination papers for the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmi on Thursday.

Accompanied by NC's treasurer Shammi Oberoi and senior vice president of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee G N Monga, Abdullah filed the nomination papers before Baramulla Deputy Commissioner Minga Sherpa, who is the returning officer of the constituency.

The NC leader is pitted against People's Conference president and separatist-turned-mainstream-politician Sajad Lone.

PDP has fielded former Rajya Sabha MP Mir Fayaz from the seat.

The last date for filing nominations from the seat is May 3, while the polling is scheduled to take place on May 20.

Talking to reporters in Baramulla, Abdullah refused to comment on Lone's remarks that the People's Conference leader will withdraw from the contest if the I.N.D.I.A. bloc makes a public commitment on the restoration of Article 370.

In an interview to PTI, the People's Conference president had said if the NC gets gets the opposition grouping to publicly commit to restore Article 370, he will withdraw his candidature.

Asked about the NC's stand on the issue of the restoration of Article 370, Abdullah said his party's stand has always been very clear against the decision on Article 370.

"We are seeking votes from the people against those decisions. It is not that we are alone. Many of our friends are also fighting this fight. God willing, the number of such friends will increase slowly," said Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah said the parliamentary elections were important given it is the first big election in J-K after August 5, 2019 -- the day Article 370 was revoked.

The NC vice president said he filed the nomination papers for a Lok Sabha election after 20 years. He was the member of the 14th Lok Sabha from 2004-2009.

"It is also after 10 years that I have filed nomination papers for any election. This tells you about the situation of democracy in J-K. The last assembly elections took place in 2014 and now since 10 years, there has been no assembly elections," he added.

"The NC and I.N.D.I.A. bloc who are fighting the poll together is hopeful that the alliance will win all the five seats in J-K and the Ladakh seat as well," he said.

To a question on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's comment that cow slaughter will increase if Congress comes to power, Abdullah said the Election Commission should take action against the BJP.

"I do not know why they have a free run from the Election Commission to use religion in the polls. Others are told that they cannot use religion in the elections under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for either seeking votes or pitting people against each other," he said.

"The BJP's star campaigners not only use religion, but attempts are also made to divide the people,“ be it in the name of 'mangalsutra' or land or cow slaughter. Unfortunately, attempts are being made to spread hatred in this country and that too by the party whose leaders, including its PM (Narendra Modi), never get tired of saying that he (the prime minister) represents all 140 crore Indians."

Abdullah was referring to Modi’s allegations at an election rally that if the Congress came to power, it would redistribute the wealth of people to Muslims.

"If that is really so, then these statements used to spread hatred, especially against 14 per cent Muslim population, are very unfortunate," he said.

Published 02 May 2024, 08:07 IST

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