Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said his National Conference party would be open to a pre-poll alliance if the Congress agreed to its seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha elections, IANS reported.
“We have received an offer from the Congress, but we are very clear about taking forward any alliance plan only if our candidates are to contest all the Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir,” said Abdullah on the sidelines of a party function in Anantnag district.
The state has six Lok Sabha seats – three in the Valley, two in the Jammu division and one in the Ladakh division. Jammu and Kashmir will vote in five phases, beginning from April 11 till May 6.
Abdullah said he has informed the Congress of his party’s willingness to discuss the other three seats in Jammu and Ladakh, PTI reported. “Let us see what response we get from them,” he said. The parliamentary board of the National Conference will meet in Srinagar on Monday to discuss the probable candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
Abdullah repeated his objections to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government not holding the state Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state. “It amounts to denying the people of the state their democratic right to form an elected government,” he said. Last week, Abdullah had said the government had “consciously disenfranchised” the people of the state.
While the Election Commission on March 10 also announced dates for Assembly elections in four states whose governments’ tenures are coming to an end in the coming three months, it did not give dates for Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, on account of security reasons.
Abdullah said it remains to be seen whether the new political party launched by former civil servant Shah Faesal would have something new to offer to the people. The new party, called the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, said said it will pursue a “peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem as per the will and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
‘Omar Abdullah will be the next chief minister’
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said that his son, Omar Abdullah, would become the next chief minister if the party wins the elections, ANI reported.
“I want to make it clear, I won’t be the chief minister, Omar Abdullah will become the chief minister,” he said while addressing a rally in Jammu. “He is young, I am old. I can’t run like these young men.”
Farooq Abdullah criticised the National Democratic Alliance government over the promises made before the 2014 General Elections, saying inflation and the price of petrol and diesel had increased under Modi. He accused the government of not fulfilling its promise of creating 10 crore jobs.
“I won’t talk about the rest of India, but how many people got jobs in Jammu and Kashmir?” he asked. “Prime Minister Modi is in danger, not the country. They are dividing the people.”