NC delegation calls on PM; request polls by year-end

New Delhi: National Congress President Farooq Abdullah with party Vice-President Omar Abdullah address the media after their meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the Parliament in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug 1, 2019. (PTI Photo)

A National Conference delegation led by its chief Farooq Abdullah on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir before the onset of winter this year and the Centre should not take any "precipitous steps" that could worsen the situation in the troubled state.

Abdullah, Srinagar MP and former Chief Minister, was accompanied by his son and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Anantnag MP Hasnain Masoodi during the meeting with Modi that lasted around 20 minutes.

"We discussed two issues with the prime minister. We told him that no step should be taken which will lead to deterioration of the situation in the Kashmir Valley. We also told him that the assembly elections should be held before the end of the year," Omar Abdullah told reporters after the meeting.

The meeting came against the backdrop of the central government sending 100 additional companies or 10,000 personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to the Valley. On Wednesday, Farooq was also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in a case related to state cricket association.

Omar said they briefed the Prime Minister about "our assessment" of the current situation in the state and "requested him that no precipitous steps of any sort should be taken that may result in situation in the state, particularly the valley, worsening".

"We specifically asked him to let subjudice matters be settled by the courts and other matters be settled by an elected government," he said.

Farooq reminded Modi that Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government for over a year now and requested him to take all necessary steps to facilitate the Election Commission conduct of assembly polls before the onset of winter, Omar said adding they told the Prime Minister that the situation in the Kashmir Valley has been "improved with great difficulty" but it can "deteriorate at any time".

On the BJP's move against Article 35A of the Constitution, which restricts permanent residency in the state, Omar said they did not specify about it.

"But, when we say that there should be no step, that means it covers all issues, including Article 35A and Article 370. We are of the view that let a new government be elected and take decisions on it. Let the people decide whom they want to elect. We will accept the people's verdict," he said. 

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