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Re-elected NC chief, Farooq vows to fight all polls in J&K

The National conference president asked his son and party vice-president Omar Abdullah not to stick to his earlier decision to stay away from the poll fray untill J&K is given the statehood.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

After being unanimously re-elected president of the National Conference (NC) on Monday, Dr.  said boycotting the panchayat polls in 2018 was a “big mistake” and that his party would contest every election in future in Jammu and Kashmir.

85-year-old Abdullah, who last month announced his resignation as party president to make space for the younger generation, was in a surprise development re-elected to lead the party at this politically crucial phase in J&K.

NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar made the announcement at the NC’s delegate session near the mausoleum of party founder Sheikh Abdullah at Naseem Bagh in Srinagar.

Sagar said only Abdullah’s nomination was received till the last date of filing the nominations and he was re-elected unopposed.

A large number of party delegates were assembled at the grave of Sheikh Abdullah on his 117th birth anniversary. The elections were held after special prayers offered at the grave by the top party leaders, including NC vice-president Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah’s re-election comes less than a fortnight after his party announced his decision to step down as the party president in November, saying he was adamant and refused to review his decision.

Farooq Abdullah is the party president since 1981 except for a period between 2002 to 2009 when his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah led the NC. Abdullah, who represents Srinagar constituency in the Lok Sabha and heads the 5-party People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), is yet to speak on the development.

Addressing the delegates, Abdullah said, “We will not boycott any future election. We will contest and win these elections.”

Referring to his son and party vice-president Omar Abdullah’s reluctance to contest the elections until J&K remained a Union Territory and was not restored statehood, Abdullah told Omar that he had to contest the elections and that he needed to fight the elections and defeat those who were playing with interests of J&K.

He warned the government and security forces not to interfere in any election process and let these be held in a fair manner. Otherwise, there will be a storm that you will not be able to control, he said.

Abdullah alleged that the BJP would do anything to win the elections. “They might make attempts to buy your loyalty”, he said.

He threatened to launch an agitation if attempts were made to rig the elections.