Govt trying to discourage us from campaigning: Omar

BK Correspondent /Srinagar
March 16, 2017 TOP STORIES 316 Views
Govt trying to discourage us from campaigning: Omar

Alleging that concerted efforts are being made by the government to discourage the opposition from coming out and campaigning by downgrading their security, National Conference (NC) Wednesday appealed to the Election Commission (EC) to direct the current regime to provide necessary security to the functionaries of the two parties.
“Concerted efforts are being made now on the part of the coalition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and BJP alliance government to discourage the opposition from moving out to campaign. Our security is being downgraded. Bullet proof vehicles of party functionaries are being withdrawn. Escort vehicles are being taken away,” main opposition NC working president Omar Abdullah said, after announcing an alliance with the Congress for the by-polls for Srinagar and Anantnag Parliamentary seats, at a press conference here today.
Abdullah, who is the former chief minister of the state, said candidates, who contested elections in 2014 polls, are now being told to manage without a Personnel Security Officers (PSOs) in highly volatile areas in districts of Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian.
“So on behalf of NC and Congress I would like to make an appeal to the Election Commission (EC) that they need to direct the state government to provide all necessary security to all the functionaries of the two parties (NC and Congress), so that we can take our message to the people,” he said.
Lashing out at the government over these concerns, Omar said let the people decide in which direction they would choose to go.
When asked if his party will ask EC for re-introduction of paper ballet amid a growing chorus questioning the reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Abdullah said he is not concerned about the issue right now.
“We have had exhaustive deliberations within the NC and so has the Congress to work out a joint strategy to give a fight to the ruling PDP in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies. After exhaustive exercise, it has been decided the NC and the Congress would fight the by-elections jointly,” he said.
He said the Congress has assured NC that all its workers and well-wishers will ensure a landslide victory for Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar while his party rank and file in Anantnag will work for the victory of Mir.
When asked if the pre-poll alliance with Congress was a compulsion, Omar said in politics, parties fight elections together in accordance with a strategy and not because of duress.
“We have been working since Congress for a long time. We took a joint delegation to Delhi during the unrest in the valley last year to put forward the demand of the people to the centre,” he said.
He said the NC-Congress alliance will raise the same issues which they have been voicing from the last one year, including employment for the youth of the valley. “In assembly during the budget session in Jammu and the session before that in Srinagar, we have been raising issues concerning people. The issues will remain the same. We will talk about the same issues we have been talking about from last one year,” he said.
“Start political dialogue to restore peace and prosperity in the state. The development works, which have come to a grinding halt, should once again be started. We will talk about the issues with regards to the concerns about use of disproportionate force by security force. The youth are concerned about their future. We will also talk about the steps which can be taken to bring employment to the state,” he added.
When asked how confident he was of winning, Omar said nobody can go into elections with 100 per cent surety but we are pretty sure of winning both these seats.

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