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Omar urges CJI to hear petitions on Article 370 on fast-track basis

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Counsels PAGD leaders to contest polls together

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s announcement that petitions regarding the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution would be listed after the summer vacation and appealed to the Chief Justice of India to hold the hearings on a fast-track basis.

“We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court to constitute a bench after the summer vacation. We understand that due to COVID-19, the petitions could not be listed earlier but we would now request the CJI that the hearings be held on a fast-track basis.

“Since August 2019, many changes have taken place, which should not have happened. Any further delay would mean that it would be difficult to reverse the changes,” Abdullah told reporters here.

The Centre abrogated the provisions of Article 370 on August 05, 2019 and bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Abdullah was interacting with the youth leaders of the NC at the party headquarters here.

Asked if the meetings were related to elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the NC vice-president said there was no connection.

“I am meeting youngsters to understand what they think and what problems they face,” he said.

Asked about the delimitation commission’s report, the former chief minister said his party has told the panel that its very existence is illegal.

“We have put before the delimitation commission that its existence itself is illegal. We have challenged the Reorganisation Act, which means that the delimitation commission has also been challenged.

“That is why we want fast-tracked hearings and a judgment by the court,” he said.

Abdullah said the NC had put forward various suggestions before the commission, but those were ignored.

“Whatever happened has happened. Let the final report come, then only we will have a detailed chat with you on this,” he said.

Asked if the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) will contest the election as an alliance, Abdullah said it was for the leaders involved to decide.

“I am not an office-bearer of the PAGD. But I can give my personal opinion…. I would like that the PAGD contests the election as an alliance. We should not allow the BJP and its B team and C team to divide votes. This will be my suggestion, but the final decision has to be taken by the PAGD,” he added.

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