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Jammu KashmirEC should apologise to people for not holding J-K polls: Omar

EC should apologise to people for not holding J-K polls: Omar


Srinagar: Former Chief Minister and Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah today criticised the Election Commission (EC), saying the EC “should be ashamed” for not conducting polls in and and waiting for directions from the Supreme Court to hold elections.

He said the EC should apologise to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said it is sad that directions came from the Supreme Court for holding Assembly elections before September 2024. “I am saying the EC should be ashamed of itself. The EC should apologise to people. The decision it had to take was taken by the Supreme Court. The decision to hold polls should have come from the EC, and the Government of should have facilitated it. But both showed indifference towards it.”

The Supreme Court, in its decision on December 11 last year, while upholding the abrogation of Article 370, directed the EC to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, leading a five-judge Constitution Bench, said that direct elections were a paramount feature of democracy and could not be withheld.

“We are saying that India is the mother of democracy. But don't know why we prefer to murder this mother of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. If India is the mother of democracy, why is it not in Jammu and Kashmir?” Omar said while talking to reporters here after returning from long holiday.

“I have repeatedly said if there was a need to have delimitation for urban local bodies. You could have done it long ago. Why did they decide on the delimitation exercise after the elected bodies completed their term?” Omar said, as the five-year term of 28,000 representatives from 4,291 panchayats ended on Tuesday.

There is uncertainty about the next municipal and panchayat elections due to the ECI's plan for a delimitation exercise first.

Omar said that the government was aware that the panchayats' term is five years and they could have initiated the election process after four and a half years. “First, the government ended the Assembly, then urban local bodies, and now panchayats have also been done away with. It seems holding parliamentary poll is their compulsion in J&K,” Omar said.

When asked about contesting upcoming parliamentary elections, Omar said that the National Conference had not finalised its candidates. “I have not had the opportunity to discuss this with party colleagues. For me, first and foremost would be that Farooq sahab (Farooq Abdullah) contests. So that we would not have a situation where both Farooq sahab and I go to Parliament at the same time. Should a situation arise where Farooq Sahab steps back from the parliamentary poll, then we will see what the party chooses to do,” he said.

On the Ram Temple inauguration, Omar said, “This is not the first inauguration of Ram Mandir and this will not be the last inauguration. The temple has come up. The temple is being inaugurated. That is it,” Omar said, refusing to get drawn into any controversy.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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