Elections our birth right, won’t beg for it like underprivileged: Omar

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, June 6: Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah today said that holding of elections is the birth right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir but they can’t beg for it like the underprivileged.
Speaking to reporters here outside the party headquarters, Omar said that it seems that only media persons are concerned about elections. “If those in power wish to hold elections, let them proceed, and if they choose not to, let them take responsibility for denying our rights. We too have self-respect and will not bow down before them,” he said.
“If they (Govt) want to hold elections, let them do so. If they do not want to, that is their choice. We, the people of Jammu and Kashmir, assert that elections are our fundamental right, and we refuse to beg for it like the underprivileged,” he said.

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He said that the Election Commission must address our concerns and provide answers. “Did not the Chief Election Commissioner of India acknowledge the existence of a vacuum that needed to be filled? If this vacuum was identified, why has it not been addressed? What compulsion or pressure is causing this delay? The Election Commission should have the courage to admit if they are facing pressure, resulting in the postponement of elections. It is contradictory to claim the existence of a vacuum while failing to fill it promptly. Something seems amiss,” he said.
Omar said that despite efforts to eliminate militancy from certain areas, it still witnesses resurgence.
“The current situation in the Valley is far from satisfactory, and this sentiment has been echoed by General. Despite efforts to eliminate militancy from certain areas, we still witness its resurgence. Their people continue to seek security from the Government due to their fears and concerns. General has aptly highlighted the gravity of the situation,” he said.
Omar said that the authorities may attempt to conceal the true state of affairs by hosting the G20 summit in the region, however, the residents of Jammu and Kashmir are well aware of the actual situation on the ground.
“While extensive preparations were made to ensure smooth travel for G20 delegates, the general public knows all too well about the worsening traffic conditions. What used to be a 20-minute journey now takes twice as long, causing disruptions in various aspects of daily life. Children struggle to reach school on time, employees face delays getting to work, and even patients succumb in ambulances before reaching hospitals due to poor traffic conditions. The G20 may have portrayed a positive side of Kashmir, but we, the residents, know the reality,” he said.