The National Conference (NC) on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, win over their hearts and minds and initiate a dialogue with them for a meaningful and genuine democratic process in order to fill the political vacuum caused due to detention of mainstream opposition leaders following abrogation of the Article 370.

NC provincial chief, Devender Rana, while addressing media persons here, expressed concern over the continued detention of mainstream political leaders and decried extension in Public Safety Act against Farooq Abdullah, terming it as PSA on the entire mainstream political ideology of Jammu and Kashmir.

Seeking release of all mainstream political leaders, Rana urged Modi to reach out to the people to win over their hearts and minds and initiate a dialogue with them.

Rana said PSA on a five-time former Chief Minister and Union Minister is sad and unfortunate, especially in view of his immense contribution towards nation building and sustaining peace, amity, harmony, democracy, progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir during most testing times. He recalled the observations of Atal Behari Vajpayee as leader of the Indian delegation in the UN and describing Abdullah as a towering patriot. He said extension in the detention of Abdullah is the biggest setback to democratic polity apart from undermining the contribution of a towering leader who stood tall in most turbulent situations.

He said Abdullah is representing the democratic ethos and its values sustained by NC over decades by weathering storms during turbulent situations. He referred to the cherished political philosophy of the party and said it led J&K to reject the two-nation theory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and tie its destiny with secular, democratic India.

Referring to the statement of Lt Governor GC Murmu regarding holding of elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Rana said the prolonged detention of political leaders and internet blockade is a contradiction.