Farooq-Omar Meet PM Modi, Push For Early Polls

India News

NEW DELHI / SRINAGAR — A delegation of the National Conference (NC), led by Srinagar MP and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and comprised his son and also former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to press for Assembly elections by the year-end and amid growing speculation that the Centre may be mulling some precipitate action on abrogation of Article 35A.

The delegation, which met Modi for about 20 minutes, also urged him not to take any step that may lead to a deterioration in the situation in the Kashmir Valley.

Omar, who was part of the delegation along with party MP Hasnain Masoodi, said they apprised the prime minister about the situation and the apprehensions of the people.

“We discussed two issues with the prime minister. We told him that no step should be taken which will lead to deterioration of the situation in Kashmir Valley. We also told him that the assembly elections should be held before the end of the year,” Omar Abdullah told reporters here.

“We had sought time from Prime Minister Modi to tell him about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. There had been tension in the Valley in the last few days, and we wanted to tell him about that. We requested him that no step which affects the environment there should be taken,” he added.

In a statement issued in Srinagar, National Conference said: “The delegation acquainted the Prime Minister about the anxiousness that has beset the state in wake of deployment of troops and undue tinkering with the states special status. They urged the PM that no pronouncement that might vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state should be made.”

“They implored that at a time when Amaranth Yarta is going on smoothly, tourist flow is slowing picking up, no decision or any pronouncement should be made that deteriorates the situation. The meeting was an earnest endeavor by the party to acquaint the Prime Minster about the current situation in Kashmir,” NC said.

The State is under President’s rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Abdullah said it had been “one and a half years since a popularly elected government ruled the State and the NC wanted elections held before the year ended. “People should be given a chance to make a decision. We [NC] will accept the mandate, whatever it may be,” he added.

The NC’s demand for early polls is significant in that the BJP recently held a meeting of its core group on Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi. At the meeting, BJP working president J.P. Nadda asked the State unit to be prepared for polls. National vice president of the party Avinash Rai Khanna has been appointed in charge of the State polls.

Meeting with PM Reassuring: Omar

Former Chief Minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday said the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “reassuring”.

Omar said that the meeting with the Prime Minister “went well”. “It took place in a very good environment and was very reassuring,’’ he said. “So, let’s see. We are hoping for the best.’’

Ex-PM To Chair Cong’s Meet On Kashmir 

New Delhi: The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has called a meeting of the Kashmir Policy Planning group in Delhi on Friday to discuss the political situation in the Valley.

The important policy planning group meeting is being held on Friday in Delhi to discuss the current political situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a party spokesman said.

The group will also deliberate over the socio-political scenario and on various issues concerning all the three regions of the state, he said.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is heading the group.

Top Congress leaders from J&K, who are part of the PPG, will attend the meeting, the spokesman said.

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