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PDP leaders Bukhari and Hussain join NC

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Farooq Abdullah pitches for early elections

Srinagar, Dec 19:  A day after being expelled from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former ministers Basharat Bukhari and Peer Mohammad Hussain joined the National Conference here on Wednesday.

The two leaders were expelled by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee headed by party vice-president Abdul Rehman Veeri.

Bukhari and Hussain joined the National Conference at a function at party president Farooq Abdullah’s residence, where vice-president Omar Abdullah and other senior leaders were also present.

Bukhari, a two-time MLA from Sangrama, was the Law minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government, headed by the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He was made the Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation minister when the government was led by Mehbooba Mufti.

Hussain, a former MLA from Shangus constituency, was a minister during the PDP-Congress coalition government in 2002. He did not contest elections after 2002 and was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Waqf board by the PDP-BJP government.

NC president Farooq Abdullah 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.

Speaking at the joining, Farooq Abdullah Wednesday once again pitched for elections in the state, saying the Governor and the President’s Rule must come to an end.

Asserting that Governor’s rule is an “autocratic rule” and that “there is no substitution to a popular elected government”, Abdullah said, “I think Governor and the President’s Rule must come to an end. There should be elections and people must choose their representatives who can work.”

He said his party has been impressing on the incumbent administration to hold elections as soon as possible. “We believe that an elected government would be able to deliver in a better way,” he said.

On the occasion NC president expressed grief over the recent civilian killings in Pulwama. “It is unfortunate to see civilian killings become a norm. The forces should have used less lethal weapons like water canons and teargas to quell the protests,” he said adding “the people, who died, cannot come back. We hope the Army and police will not carry out such operations in the future.”

The Member Parliament from Srinagar also said “violence will beget violence, the situation calls for a reconciliation and rapprochement policy.”

On the grand alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the former chief minister said alliance was working and the states will hold a key in alliance formations 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. At some places there will be stronger alliance, and at some other places there will be mix alliances but the states will be important factor,” he said.



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