Will bring back Prez, PM posts to J&K if elected: Omar

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah with his son, party Vice-President Omar Abdullah during a convention ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at party headquarters, in Srinagar. PTI

Playing to the gallery this election season, National Conference (NC) leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the post of Sadar-e-Riyasat (President) and Wazir-e-Azam (Prime Minister) would be brought back to Jammu and Kashmir, if his party was voted to power.

“Other states joined the Union of India without any conditions. However, Jammu and Kashmir acceded with certain conditions. Those included our own identity, own constitution and own flag. At that time (1947), we had our own ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’ and ‘Wazir-e-Azam’. Inshallah, we will bring that back too,” he said while addressing an election rally in northern Bandipora district.

“You can’t compare Jammu and Kashmir with UP, Bihar, MP or Tamil Nadu. Has any state its own flag or constitution? If we had acceded with India on certain conditions, now you can’t tell us after 70 years that it was wrong,” Omar said while reacting to BJP president Amit Shah’s statement that they would abrogate Article 35-A as it was the saffron party’s commitment to the people of the country.

The former CM said Kashmir would not have been part of India had there not been provisions like Articles 35A and 370 that give the Valley its special status.

“How do they want to do it? This state became part of the country on the basis of this special status. If you want to debate Articles 35A and 370, do it, but it will raise the question on accession of J&K to Union of India also,” Omar said, cautioning the BJP to “tread carefully” on this issue.

Regional parties — the NC and PDP — have been demanding the restoration of special status saying the genesis of the political turmoil in the state lies in the erosion of the internal autonomy that was guaranteed to J&K in a negotiated accession.

Omar also promised that the ‘highly misused’ Public Safety Act would go within days if the NC came to power. “Even today, so many youths, our elders are struggling in prisons. I had tried that this Act not be misused but my attempts didn’t materialise completely. Now this time we have decided not to relax the law but remove it completely from the books of law,” the NC leader said.

“Take this in written from me — if National Conference is given a mandate, within days Public Safety Act will go forever,” he assured.

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Will bring back Prez, PM posts to J&K if elected: Omar


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