Not Contesting J&K Polls, Won’t Humiliate Myself By Entering UT Assembly: Omar Abdullah



SRINAGAR, June 10 (PTI): National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Monday ruled out the possibility of him contesting the forthcoming elections to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly but said he would be leading his party’s campaign for the polls.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also said he will not humiliate himself by entering the legislature of a Union Territory (UT). On his defeat in the Lok Sabha election to jailed contestant Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias Engineer Rashid in Baramulla, Abdullah said in electoral politics, one has to be ready for a loss as well.

“If you set aside the fact that I lost, on the whole I think the NC has a lot to be satisfied for… as far as my own seat is concerned, how can I be anything but disappointed. But that is electoral politics for you. If you are not prepared to lose, you should not file your papers. I cannot say the result was on expected lines. But it is what it is,” he told PTI in an interview.

The NC leader said he will lead his party’s campaign for the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. “No. I am not contesting the assembly elections. I will not fight a UT election. I am absolutely clear on that. I will help my party, I will lead the campaign, I will do whatever I have to for the NC. But I will not enter an assembly of the UT of J-K,” he said.

“I will fight for our statehood to be restored to us. I will fight for a full state of J-K with no dilution. Then, if possible, I will seek an opportunity to enter the assembly and play my part there. But, I will not humiliate myself by entering a UT (assembly),” the NC vice president said.

In 2019, the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state in Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Asked if he was hopeful for early restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir as the BJP did not get a majority on its own in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, Abdullah said the prime minister and the home minister of the country have made a commitment to this effect both inside and outside Parliament.

While Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister and his council of ministers took oath on Saturday, portfolios are yet to be assigned. When the Article was abrogated Amit Shah was the Union home minister.

Kashmir was personality driven than party agenda driven, saying nobody wins a parliamentary election on their personality.

“You win it because of the organisation. You win it because of the campaign that you run. I think Aga Ruhullah (NC winner from Srinagar Lok Sabha seat) and Mian Altaf Ahmad (NC winner from Anantnag-Rajouri seat) would be the first people to tell you that of course they were strong candidates, but they also had a strong party behind them,” he said.

Abdullah said they were able to get votes from the areas that they did not expect, and in numbers that they did not expect. “So, their personalities definitely helped us, how could they not, but, it is not just the personality,” he added.


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