Omar Abdullah says he will not contest elections till Jammu and Kashmir remains a UT

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah, who was released from a prolonged detention some time back, has said that he will not contest assembly elections till the time J&K remains a Union Territory.

In an opinion piece, Omar Abdullah has written that he will not be contesting assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. He has written, “As for me, I am very clear that while J&K remains a Union Territory I will not be contesting any Assembly elections. Having been a member of the most empowered Assembly in the land and that, too, as the leader of that Assembly for six years, I simply cannot and will not be a member of a House that has been disempowered the way ours has.”

Omar Abdullah has also written about a meeting he attended with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019 when Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its special status and bifurcated into two Union Territories.

“Some of us, senior office-bearers of the J&K National Conference, had a meeting with the PM just days before the August 5 developments. It’s not a meeting I will forget in a hurry. One day I may write about it but propriety precludes me from saying more than that we left the meeting with a completely different impression about what was going to unfold in the next 72 hours. In one fell swoop, everything we had feared came to pass,” said Omar Abdullah in his article.

The former chief minister, in his article has also said that the promises made to Jammu and Kashmir were not fulfilled and the removal of Article 370 was “not the right thing to do”.

“J&K participated in democratic processes, shared in nation’s development but the promise made with it wasn’t kept. Removing 370 may have been the popular thing to do, but going back on a nation’s sovereign commitments was not the right thing to do,” the NC leader has said.

He also said, “After the re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, rumours started to float about the intentions of the BJP to use its absolute majority in the Lok Sabha to implement its poll promise of abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution. Fears reached a fever pitch when plane loads of central para-military forces where flown in to Srinagar and dispatched all over the state.”

“Many reasons were given to justify the complete dilution of Article 370 when it was being rammed through Parliament, none stands the test of basic scrutiny. Whether on fuelling terrorism; lack of investment; or human development indices,” said Omar Abdullah.