‘True impact on tourism depends on security situation’
SRINAGAR, June 4: Former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah today said that National Conference (NC) is ready to take part in Assembly elections whenever they are held and hinted at considering over alliance in order to throw out the party which is spreading hatred and divide.
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“I don’t know about other parties but our party, the NC is ready to take part in Assembly elections whenever they will be held,” Dr. Abdullah said while dedicating first of its kind hydraulic roller at Shaheed-e-Millat Sports Stadium at Lal Bazar Srinagar.
“We are actively considering the formation of an alliance to combat the party that seeks to divide our society along religious lines. It is important that we unite to overcome their divisive tactics and work towards fostering harmony and inclusivity,” he said.
While replying to remarks of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha that past elections were rigged by few political parties for their political benefits, Dr Abdullah said that if the elections are tampered with, people can seek justice by going to the High Court or the Election Commission. “Even Indira Gandhi faced similar situations before, showing that there are ways to address such issues.” he added.
The NC president said that without an elected Government, Jammu and Kashmir is experiencing significant losses.
“Democracy relies on the presence of elected representatives, as a Lieutenant Governor and his Advisors cannot effectively oversee the entire region alone. Each area requires the representation of an elected MLA who can take responsibility for their respective areas. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats, who remain in their positions until the age of 60, show little concern for the region’s well-being. In contrast, MLAs are accountable to the people every five years and must perform well to secure votes. Therefore, the absence of elections and elected representatives in Jammu and Kashmir directly contributes to the detrimental losses faced by the region,” he added.
Abdullah said that cricketers from the Valley have the potential to shine on the global stage, just as they did in the past. “In today’s world, cricket has truly become a global game. I strongly believe that sports, including cricket, hockey, Kabaddi, and football are vital for the overall well-being of our children, alongside their studies. These sports have even gained recognition in the Olympics, highlighting their significance. It is important for our children to excel in these activities and embrace a well-rounded development,” he said.
The former CM said that through the G20 meeting, the Valley has witnessed significant improvements, including the enhancement of infrastructure with the academization of roads, painting of walls and installation of lights. “Undoubtedly, these developments were made possible due to the G20,” he said.
“However, the true impact on our tourism industry remains uncertain. It is crucial to wait for improvements on the ground situation before expecting a boost in tourism,” he said.
Farooq said that a bilateral agreement between the two nations through dialogue will play a vital role in shaping the future of the J&K.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Mehbooba Mufti on receiving her passport. I sincerely hope that she can utilize this opportunity to fulfill her intentions of embarking on the sacred pilgrimages of Umrah and Hajj, as she had previously expressed. May her journeys enable her to gain valuable experiences and insights, which she can then share with the global community, shedding light on the current situation in our region,” he said while asked on the issuance of passport to Mehbooba.
“The tragic incident in Odisha is a heart-wrenching event, with around 300 lives lost and numerous individuals hospitalized. The installation of accident-prevention machines, as claimed by Mantri ji, makes this even more concerning. It is crucial to investigate and determine how and why this tragedy occurred, as well as hold those responsible accountable. A retired Judge has been appointed to provide answers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families during this difficult time,” he said.