People of JK have high expectation from new Govt: Omar
National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah, who won from the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Thursday pinned hope that the new government at New Delhi would do justice with Kashmir.
Addressing a news conference after his victory, Farooq said bringing India and Pakistan on the negotiation table to solve Kashmir would be his first priority as a Member of Parliament.
“We hope the new government in Delhi does justice with Jammu Kashmir and holds talks with Pakistan so that we can come out of this mess," he said.
Farooq, who was accompanied by NC Vice President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, said being a parliamentarian would not be easy this time.
“With respect to our State, there are several important issues that we have to fight. Their intention is to do away with the Article 370 and Article 35-A. Another issue is that they want to divide the Muslims and Hindus in the country. We have to fight that as well,” he said.
Farooq, who has thrice served as the chief minister of the State, said Kashmir had suffered a lot in the past many years.
“Every day there is shelling at border, gunfights are taking place, pellet guns are being used and people are getting killed, blinded. It has to stop,” he said.
The NC President said India belongs to all including the Muslims, the Sikhs and the Christians and “we have to keep that secular fabric of India alive which our Constitution enshrines”.
Farooq defeated his PDP’s Aga Syed Mohsin by 70,050 votes.
This is the fourth win in a Lok Sabha election for the 83-year-old NC leader, who has only once lost an election in his 42-year political career since his debut in 1980.
Talking on the occasion, NC Vice President Omar Abdullah congratulated the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for their thumping victory at all-India level but had a word of advice for Narendra Modi.
He said Modi needed to change his way of governance.
“Let bygones be bygones. Now the attempt should be to take everybody along,” Omar said. “People of Jammu Kashmir have high expectations from this new government.”
He said as a part of the UPA, NC played its part by winning all three seats in the Valley but what happened in different Indian states needed a detailed analysis.
Omar said the Congress even lost from places where they had anticipated more gains.
“We did our part. We have won all three seats. We also tried on fourth (Ladakh) seat but it was Congress who helped BJP win there. However, at the end of the day ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar,’” Omar said.
NC won all three parliamentary seats in Kashmir valley.
In Leh, NC had backed independent candidate Sajad Kargili from Kargil. However, Congress at the last moment placed its own candidate, dividing the vote share.
Meanwhile, conceding defeat, former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti congratulated NC.
Taking to micro-blogging website, Twitter, she said, “I’ve been fortunate to get the love & affection of my people. They have every right to express their anger for my failings. Accept their verdict with humility. Congratulations to winning candidates from NC. I’m grateful to my party workers & colleagues (sic).”