Bukhari, Peer join NC
SRINAGAR, Dec 19: National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah today called for early Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, saying Governor’s rule was not an alternative to an elected Government.
The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar also said Governor’s rule was “autocratic rule” and that his party was pressing on the present Jammu and Kashmir administration for polls in the State as soon as possible.
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Speaking at a function to welcome two former PDP Ministers into the National Conference, Abdullah said, “We believe that an elected government would be able to deliver in a better way.”
“The National Conference (NC) has been impressing on the incumbent administration to hold elections as soon as possible,” he said.
Former PDP leaders Basharat Bukhari and Peer Mohammad Hussain joined the NC at Abdullah’s residence.
The former Chief Minister hoped that their inclusion will help salvage people from the current tumultuous times in the State.
“We have to show steadfastness and maintain unity among us. We have to give a befitting reply to those forces which are inimical to the special status of State,” he said.
Expressing grief over the recent killings of civilians in Pulwama district, Abdullah said, “It is unfortunate to see civilian killings become a norm. The forces should have used less lethal weapons to quell the protests.”
Seven civilians died in the Pulwama district on Saturday when security forces allegedly opened fire at an unruly crowd that tried to storm the site of an encounter in which three militants and an Army man were killed.
“Violence will beget violence, the propensity of the situation calls for a reconciliation and rapprochement policy,” he said.
The NC president alleged that the forces, which have been “contriving” to divide the people of State, will tend to use money power to spoil the unity.
“The need of the hour is to maintain unity so that we are able to put up a strong front for the cause of State and our people,” Abdullah said.
On the grand alliance for 2019 Parliament elections, Abdullah said alliance in the States will hold a key in at Centre in the elections. “Alliances will be mostly in the States and those States will produce the results for the Parliament. And that will make the difference. Some places there will be stronger alliance and some place there will be mix alliances but the States will be important factor,” he said.
While welcoming the PDP leaders – former Minister Syed Basharat Bukhari and former VC Wakf Board Peer Mohammad Hussain-, Abdullah said that the good steps are always welcome. “Anyone can join NC and for that the party has a committee which handles such things,” he added.
NC president welcomed the new entrants and said that the inclusion of new members into the party fold will auger well for the people of State. “We have to show steadfastness and maintain unity among us. We have to give a befitting reply to those forces which are inimical to the special status of State,” he said.
Earlier former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) legislators Basharat Bukhari and Peer Mohammad Hussain joined the NC at Nawe Subhe.
Bukhari, a senior PDP leader and a former Cabinet Minister in Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP Government and Hussain, an ex-Wakf Board chairman were expelled by PDP yesterday.
Both Bukhari and Hussain joined National Conference in presence of NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah.
Speaking to reporters after joining NC, Bukhari said he didn’t want to be disrespectful to Mehbooba Mufti that is why he left the party. “I firmly believe that Mehbooba ji has grown a lot and it’s not possible for me to reach that level. And why should I disturb her again and again? So I don’t want to be disrespectful with her. As a mark of respect I left the party,” he said.
Hussain said that it was very difficult for him to leave the party (PDP) and join another but he had no other option. “It is very difficult to leave one party and join another, but when the situation becomes extremely compulsive where a person has to take some difficult decisions,” he said.
He said that the PDP didn’t respect the mandate of the people of Kashmir by aligning with BJP. “For the first time we (PDP) brought the BJP to Kashmir and we had sought votes to keep them (BJP)away,” he added.
Former Chief Minister and vice president of the NC, Omar Abdullah, who was present on the occasion welcomed Bukhari and Peer into the party fold hoping that the new entrants will work for making party strong at grass root levels.
Among other party functionaries Ali Mohammad Sagar, Nasir Aslam Wani, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan, Shameema Firdous, Sakina Itoo, Dr Bashir Veeri, Altaf Kaloo, Javaid Dar Qaisar Jamsheed Lone were also present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, NC leader Omar Abdullah today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that Assembly polls were held in Jammu and Kashmir within the stipulated six months following the dissolution of the House.
“Sir, please also commit your government to assembly elections in J&K. Vested interests, including some occupying positions of authority in J&K, are trying to engineer a delay,” the National Conference leader said in a tweet.
“Your Government’s handling of J&K will be judged by whether Assembly elections are on time or not sir,” he said, responding to a tweet from Modi lauding the high voter turnout in the State during the Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies polls.
Omar said he was looking forward to a commitment from the Prime Minister that an elected Government will be in place by May next year.
“Six months from the date of dissolution means a return to elected Government before the end of May 2019. We look forward to your personal commitment to keeping to that schedule jenab PM sahib,” Omar said.