“Will Contest And Win In Lok Sabha Polls”: Farooq Abdullah

Under fire for boycotting the currently concluded civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir on the issue of article 35A, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said his party will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha and the assembly elections in the state and win them.

Mr. Abdullah appealed to Pakistan to cease aiding and abetting terrorism and hold talks with India to resolve the bilateral issues.

“It (Article 35A) is sub-judice. In Parliament and assembly elections, we will (take part) and will win also,” Mr. Abdullah told reporters in Jammu.

The NC had boycotted the currently concluded panchayat and municipal polls in the state.

The party had announced in September last that it would not contest the municipal and panchayat polls and even the 2019 elections “until and unless the government of India and the state government made clear their position on Article 35A and took effective steps to protect Article 35A in and outside the court”.

Article 35A, which provides special rights to people in Jammu and Kashmir and bars outsiders from owning immovable property, has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The NC, which has taken a U-turn on the boycott of the 2019 elections now, had faced large criticism by various political parties and the PDP had asked it to clarify its stand on the elections.

“National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah and his party must come clean on this and make their position clear in case of 35A,” senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar stated earlier in the day.

“Farooq Sahib had earlier made a lot of noise about it and led his party into boycotting the recently held polls on its basis, and now, he is not even prepared to talk about it or give a political statement,” Mr. Akhtar further said.

Mr. Abdullah further said Pakistan should stop helping and abetting terrorism and enter into friendship with India. “The firing will continue. I will appeal to Pakistan stop these things and come to the table for talks and resolve all these matters. There is no other alternative,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He said the Kashmir problem cannot be resolved with guns but by talks alone. On the visit of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti to a suspected terrorist’s house, he said, “You should ask this question to Mehbooba Mufti. She was doing it earlier also and now she is doing it again. But this time she will have no takers.”

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