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Voter turnout in Bijbehara, Anantnag a lesson for Mehbooba: Omar 

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Srinagar, Apr 24: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the low voter turnout in Anantnag and Bijbehara is a lesson for PDP and Mehbooba Mufti.

He asserted that the ensuing elections are significant since it provides the people of the state an opportunity to reveal how passionately they feel about their identity including Article 370 and Article 35-A.

Addressing two separate public meets at Chawalgam and Homeshalibug, Kulgam, according to an NC press release, Omar Abdullah said that the threats of BJP-RSS to abrogate Article 370 and Article 35-A will be defeated as the people of the state will not allow them to succeed in their nefarious designs.

“Today state is facing an assault on its special status from all sides, however, all the machinations of the forces as are inimical to our status will fall flat if the people of our state show resoluteness in protecting the identity and integrity of the state. This time people across the state have taken it upon themselves to trounce the efforts as are hell-bent to destroy the special constitutional status of the state,” he said.

“Today’s elections is not about choosing MLAs, today our state is fraught with a challenging situation.  The need of the hour is to send a representative to parliament who can fight for the interests of the state, the situation that the state is facing today demands having a credible voice at Delhi who can work tireless both within and outside parliament for the protection of Article 370 and Article 35-A.”

He said NC has fielded Justice (retd.) Hasnain Sb from Anantnag constituency as he is known for his pronounced judgments on Article 370 and Article 35-A, as “has necessary political and legal acumen to deal with the situation.”

While highlighting the importance of these laws, Omar said, “It is needless to say how important Article 370, Art 35-A is for the state and its people. Today the people of our state are masters of its own land. They work on their land and derive their sustenance from it. God forbid, if these articles are done away with, the consequences that will follow shall be beyond our comprehension.

“The people of the state will stop to cleave to a respectable denomination which Sher-e-Kashmir bestowed upon them through famous land to tiller reforms and other people-friendly measures. Our kids would not be able to derive various scholarships from the government. The youth of our state will cease to be the sole beneficiary of jobs in government sector.

“Keeping in mind the far-reaching consequences of abrogation of our status, we deemed it fit to have Hasnain Masoodi represent us in parliament from Anantnag,” NC leader said.

Flaying Mebooba Mufti for “betraying, berating and squandering the trust of people”, he said “the amount of disgruntlement and disillusionment of the people against Mehbooba can be gauged from the fact that a place from where she got a lead of 12,000 votes in 2016 elections only saw total of 956 people cast their ballot. Even her own brother and a sitting MLC didn’t cast his vote in her favor. If her own brother didn’t repose his faith in her, how can others?” he said.

Censuring PDP and Muftis on deceiving people on the promises it made while canvassing for elections in 2014, he said, “They were not able to keep any of their promises. People didn’t see any jobs. The promise of lessening the footprint of security forces also turned out to be a sham. On the contrary, she shamelessly presided over a plethora of miseries that people of Kashmir especially the people of south Kashmir had to go through,” he said, adding that the “much-touted ‘Agenda of Alliance’ also turned out to be a damp squib.”

Omar said that the promises made by Muftis and PDP on the protection of our special status were big lies. “They implemented SARFAESI, NFSA, and GST in the state. They are the one who brought NIA to state. They failed to deliver on every promise they made in the run-up for elections in 2014. We didn’t see them repeal AFSPA; on the contrary, they slapped PSA on thousands of our youngsters, most of whom are still languishing in jails. She failed miserably on every matrix; she failed to protect the state’s status, she failed to provide jobs and above all, she pushed the state into chaos and conflict. It was south Kashmir that bore the brunt of her imprudent policies. They are the ones who provided a platform to BJP-RSS in the state.”

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